Montana Senate advances bills to restrict abortion access
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Senate voted Thursday to advance four bills that would restrict access to abortion in the state.
Gov. Greg Gianforte has promised to sign at least two of the bills if they arrive on his desk – one that would ban abortions in most cases after 20 weeks of gestation, and another that would ask voters to approve a requirement for health care providers to care for infants born alive during abortion procedures.
A third bill would require health care providers to give pregnant women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before performing an abortion and the fourth would require that abortion pills be administered in-person rather than through telehealth.
The bills advanced in 31-19 votes party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The Senate will vote on the bills for a third and final time later this week. The measures have already passed the House last month.
Three of the bills are repeats of similar measures vetoed last session by former Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat. Republican legislative leaders expect the measures will find a more favorable fate on the desk of Gianforte, Montana’s first Republican governor in 16 years.