HELENA, Montana (LifeSiteNews) — Last week, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana signed five pro-life bills, including provisions to restrict abortion funding and protect born-alive infants and the conscience rights of doctors who object to killing the unborn.
Protecting born-alive abortion victims, pro-life doctors
The Infant Safety and Care Act, HB 625, requires medical professionals to take care of newborn babies who survive abortions with the same standards as those who are not victims of abortion. Violators of the law would be guilty of a felony and could face a suspended license, a civil malpractice lawsuit, thousands of dollars in fines, and up to 5 years in prison.
HB 303 provides protections for individual and organizational medical professionals who are morally opposed to certain so-called medical practices, including abortion. This bill would prevent medical professionals from being forced to participate in any medical service that goes against their conscience. Specifically, it states that “a person may not be scheduled, assigned, or requested to directly or indirectly perform [sic], facilitate, refer for, or participate in an abortion unless the person first affirmatively consents in writing to perform, facilitate, refer for, or participate in the abortion.”
Another piece of legislation, HB 575, bans abortion after 24 weeks, clarifying the state’s existing abortion law, which prohibits elective abortion once the baby can feel pain and has reached viability. Cases in which abortion is allegedly deemed “necessary” to save the mother’s life are an exception to the ban. Experts attest that abortion is not medically necessary under any circumstances, however.
New regulations for abortion centers, taxpayer funding for abortion
Detailed reports of all medication and surgical abortions committed in the state, including records of all adverse reactions, are required under HB 786. Medical professionals who violate these standards would be subject to “unprofessional conduct” penalties with up to a year of suspension of their license.
HB 862 bans the use of public funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when abortion is deemed medically “necessary” to protect the life or physical health of the mother.
“This package of pro-family, pro-child, pro-life bills will make a lasting difference in Montana,” Gianforte said during the bill signing on Wednesday. “We couldn’t have done it alone, and I just want to thank the thousands of Montanans throughout the state who made their voices heard and made today possible.”
Adam Schwend, western regional director of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, also reacted to the news in a press release put out by the organization.
“Today’s advances in Montana are a part of an ongoing post-Dobbs trend to advance human rights in the states and provide mothers with more resources during pregnancy and after a child is born. This progress led by bold state leaders is saving tens of thousands of lives across our nation,” he said.
The slew of bills comes months after a ballot measure designed to ensure medical care for babies born alive after attempted abortions was rejected by voters.