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Montana Abortion Rights Advocates Propose Ballot Initiative

Montana Supreme Court allows abortion ballot initiative (Credits: The Hill)

A reproductive rights group in Montana initiated a campaign on Tuesday aimed at including a state constitutional amendment safeguarding abortion rights on the November general election ballot.

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights announced the launch of its signature drive to gather the necessary 60,000 signatures from Montanans by June 21 to qualify the proposed measure, known as CI-128, for the ballot.

The constitutional initiative seeks to amend the state constitution explicitly to establish a right to make and implement decisions regarding one’s pregnancy, including the right to abortion. It aims to prevent the government from denying or imposing obstacles to abortion before fetal viability, according to the language outlined on the ballot.

US abortion bans (Credits: Lowy Institute)

Additionally, the measure prohibits the government from obstructing access to abortion when deemed medically necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health, as determined by their doctor or treating practitioner.

The proposed amendment explicitly states that the government cannot penalize any individual involved in another person’s voluntary decisions about their pregnancy.

Abortion Rights (Credits: AP News)

The initiative comes in response to concerns over the erosion of abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn federal protections. Many states have subsequently passed restrictive laws limiting abortion access, prompting efforts to enshrine abortion rights in state constitutions through ballot initiatives.

Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, which has supported similar ballot measures in other states, emphasized the essence of allowing Montanans to express their views on the issue.

Hall condemned attempts by anti-abortion groups to influence personal healthcare decisions and stressed the importance of empowering individuals to make their own choices regarding reproductive care.

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