search
Sections List
American Journal News

Abortion advocates submit ballot issue affirming right to terminate pregnancy in Montana

Voters may have the opportunity to affirm the right to an abortion in the Montana Constitution in 2024.

By Nicole Girten - November 27, 2023
Share
A resident votes at the Zion St. Joe United Church of Christ on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, in St. Joseph, Mich.
A resident votes at the Zion St. Joe United Church of Christ on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, in St. Joseph, Mich. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP, File)

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana submitted a ballot initiative last week to put before the voters the option to add the right for someone to make decisions about their pregnancy, including abortion, as a constitutional right in Montana.

If this ballot initiative makes it before voters in 2024, the Montana Constitution would get a new section explicitly outlining the right to an abortion, as opposed to relying on the court’s interpretation of the state’s right to privacy in the constitution.

“This constitutional amendment prohibits the government from denying or burdening the right to abortion before fetal viability,” the submitted language reads.

The right to an abortion is already protected in Montana under the state Supreme Court decision Armstrong vs. State, which was upheld earlier this year, under the court’s interpretation of the right to privacy in the constitution.

Spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana Christopher Coburn said in an interview if this ballot initiative were to pass, the right to abortion access would not rely on such interpretation and would be spelled out as a Constitutional right on its own.

“Courts wouldn’t have to interpret what the constitution might mean, because it would be spelled out in the constitution,” Coburn said.

Other states have been taking action on abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision, which overturned federal protections for abortion. Last year Kansas rejected a constitutional amendment restricting abortion, and Ohio more recently enshrined abortion rights into their constitution.

More than a dozen pieces of anti-abortion legislation were introduced in the 2023 legislative session led by a Republican supermajority, with many signed into law and then promptly halted by the courts through a preliminary injunction. Likewise, a bill to codify abortion rights into statute failed to make it out of committee.

Coburn said Montana lawmakers are “out of step” with the electorate on this issue.

“State lawmakers are continually trying to take away rights. The time feels right for us to protect them,” Coburn said.

failed ballot initiative in the 2022 statewide election would have required medical intervention for “born alive infants,” claiming this would save lives from “late term abortions.” The medical community in the state pushed back on the measure, seen as a referendum on abortion, saying pregnancies in the third term are wanted and medical intervention in some cases would not change a fatal outcome.

Although there is a sense of momentum with other states taking action to codify abortion rights, Coburn said the inspiration for this initiative is separate from what the rest of the country is doing on this issue.

“Regardless of what’s happening in other states, Montanans deserve to have their rights to reproductive health care, including abortion, secured,” Coburn said.

To get on the ballot, after a legal review by the Attorney General’s office, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana will have to gather signatures from at least 10% of Montanans eligible to vote, with that number including 10% of the eligible voters in two fifths of legislative districts.

Coburn said the nonprofit organization is working with volunteers across the state to gain access to the ballot.

“We have an entire team of folks who’s thinking about how we deeply engage with folks across the entire state, to learn more about their perspectives, to chat with them about what this ballot initiative would mean, and to ultimately put the decisions into their hands,” he said.


Read More
Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

By Gloria Rebecca Gomez, Arizona Mirror - April 01, 2024
Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - January 18, 2024
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

By Jesse Valentine - November 02, 2023
Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - October 30, 2023
Republicans complain DOJ is funding campaign raising awareness about gun safety measures

Republicans complain DOJ is funding campaign raising awareness about gun safety measures

By Oliver Willis - July 27, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Big investors are buying up single-family homes. Sen. Sherrod Brown has a plan to stop them.

Big investors are buying up single-family homes. Sen. Sherrod Brown has a plan to stop them.

By Jesse Valentine - July 09, 2024
New Mexico Senate nom Nella Domenici earned up to $1 million renting out Connecticut home

New Mexico Senate nom Nella Domenici earned up to $1 million renting out Connecticut home

By Jesse Valentine - July 08, 2024
GOP’s Mark Robinson blames bad fathers for social ills despite own son’s criminal record

GOP’s Mark Robinson blames bad fathers for social ills despite own son’s criminal record

By Jesse Valentine - July 03, 2024
Kelly Ayotte’s history of backing Medicare cuts could be hurdle in governor’s race

Kelly Ayotte’s history of backing Medicare cuts could be hurdle in governor’s race

By Jesse Valentine - July 02, 2024
Texas Republican Ken Paxton enlisted outside group to gut rights for pregnant workers

Texas Republican Ken Paxton enlisted outside group to gut rights for pregnant workers

By Jesse Valentine - June 24, 2024
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
FactCheck: Republican Sheehy revives discredited abortion claim in Senate race

FactCheck: Republican Sheehy revives discredited abortion claim in Senate race

By Matt Volz - July 15, 2024
Lawsuit seeks to overturn Michigan’s ban on conversion therapy for minors

Lawsuit seeks to overturn Michigan’s ban on conversion therapy for minors

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - July 15, 2024
Virginia Republican Jen Kiggans backs effort to stop voting rights expansion

Virginia Republican Jen Kiggans backs effort to stop voting rights expansion

By Jesse Valentine - July 12, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde poured millions into dubious overseas ventures

Republican Eric Hovde poured millions into dubious overseas ventures

By Jesse Valentine - July 12, 2024
 Republican Monique DeSpain boasts about out-of-state support

 Republican Monique DeSpain boasts about out-of-state support

By Jesse Valentine - July 11, 2024
U.S. House candidate Rob Bresnahan donated thousands to controversial, far-right figures

U.S. House candidate Rob Bresnahan donated thousands to controversial, far-right figures

By Jesse Valentine - July 11, 2024