Since 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of making abortions legal in the United States, Republican lawmakers and states have been trying to reverse that decision, or at the very least to provide the unborn with all the protection possible.
And this week, the northwestern state of Montana added not one but three new laws in the effort to protect those who don’t yet have a voice.
Needless to say, it’s a significant win for pro-life advocates everywhere.
The bills, known as House Bill 136, 140, and 171, make it illegal for abortions to be carried out after the child is 20 weeks, which is the age at which science proves they can feel pain. In addition, the measures mandate that an abortion cannot be performed unless an ultrasound has been performed first, as well as requires that all women being given abortion drugs must see a medical consultant to get those drugs.
Republican Governor Greg Gianforte was very proud and excited to be able to sign the bills into law. And he showed it by tweeting out, “Life is precious and ought to be protected. Today, I proudly signed into law bills to protect the life of our most vulnerable, the unborn.”
And Republican Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway seconds his pride, saying that the bills have been something she and other pro-life supporters have been waiting “48 years to see” happen.
Of course, there are plenty who aren’t nearly as thrilled with the announcement of the new laws.
Chief among them is Executive Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, Caitlin Borgmann. As she told the Associated Press, “These bills represent the worst kind of government overreach – placing the government between patients and the medical care they deserve.” She says, “Republicans have plowed ahead despite clear warning that the bills are unconstitutional and will be challenged in court.”
Oh, you mean like how Biden has pushed no small number of unconstitutional executive orders through without regard to the consequences or their lawfulness? In fact, several of them have already been challenged and found wanting in the court of law.
But I digress…
The Republican-led government of Montana is by no means denying patients, or in this case, women, of the medical care they need or deserve.
They aren’t banning abortions altogether. No state, thanks to the ruling on Roe v. Wade, can do that. Neither are they denying the woman care. In fact, mandating them to be seen by a medical professional and get an ultrasound is kind of the opposite, ensuring that someone with a licensed medical degree sees to their needs.
However, they can stipulate that abortions, when they do happen, are carried out with the utmost respect for both the mother and unborn child. Gianforte and others realize that sometimes abortions seem to be necessary, say, for instance, when an unplanned pregnancy is quite literally putting the life of the mother at risk.
But he also realizes that he is not God and, therefore, does not have the right or power to decide if an unborn child’s life is less important than that of its mother. If something can be done to save both lives, it should.
That’s what these laws seek to do.
And they aren’t all that dissimilar from several others being made legal elsewhere in the country.
Take the state of Arizona, for example.
Here Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law on Tuesday that prohibits abortions from being performed based on “genetic abnormalities,” such as down syndrome.
According to Ducey, “Every life holds immeasurable value – regardless of genetic makeup. Today I signed legislation to prioritize life in our preborn children and protect those with genetic abnormalities.”
And he continued, saying, “Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation, and my sincere thanks goes to Senator Nancy Barto for her leadership and work on this life-saving issue and those who supported this bill.”
Both Oklahoma and Idaho have also recently signed pro-life bills, making it illegal for an abortion to occur if a heartbeat can be detected, typically around eight weeks. The heart begins to beat earlier than this, at around 21 or so days, but it can be hard to detect this early because it is so small.
We just hope that these pro-life trends continue throughout the nation. Who knows, it may even bring about an overturn of Roe v. Wade…