Voting for Abortion Rights in Montana?!

Voting for Abortion Rights in Montana?!

Featured photo, no, Austin Knudsen did not literally say that about freedom. He just says it indirectly by his actions.

Well, well, well, it looks like Montanans might get a chance to vote on ensuring abortion access this November.

Constitutional Initiative No. 128 (CI-128) has made it to the signature gathering stage after jumping through numerous obstacles Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Republican Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, and more threw in its way. The group behind the CI-128 effort, Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights (MSRR) are cleared for signature gathering. We should start seeing people working to collect signatures soon as the group has a sign up for signature gatherers on their website.

After a Montana Supreme Court ordered deadline, Secretary of State Jacobsen finally did her job and delivered the sample petition with the court-issued ballot language on April 5th.  You can see the language below.

CI-128 ballot language

Accuracy! Without biased, inflammatory language. What a little treat for us.

It’s nice to see a functioning judicial branch in Montana. Our Republican Attorney General Knudsen tried to block the ballot proposal as “legally insufficient” after a required review by his office. MSRR sued and the Montana Supreme Court found Austin Knudsen erred in finding the proposal for the 2024 ballot “legally insufficient.” Then Knudsen tried to push through some inflammatory pro-life language for the initiative. MSSR sued again asking the Court to certify its proposed ballot language and to invalidate Knudsen’s, which the group describes as “argumentative, prejudicial, and inaccurate.” And the Court agreed with MSRR! After some more legal wrangling (Thanks Austin! Thanks Christi! Eye rolling emoji), we have made it to the signature gathering stage.

We’ve seen the extremism that has gripped the Montana Republican Party that mirrors the extremism of the national Republican Party. We saw what the national Republican Party did with majorities in Congress. They held a Supreme Court Justice pick hostage. Installed an extremist conservative block on the Supreme Court. And overturned Roe v. Wade protections.

Republicans aren’t stopping at overturning Roe v. Wade. They want a national abortion ban. They are attacking access to IVF, contraceptives, and even no-fault divorce! Initiatives like this one help serve as a safeguard to protecting our rights. We’re keeping an eye on the signature gathering process. Abortion rights have won in every election since Roe v. Wade was overturned, will Montana follow the path we took in 2022 when the regressive anti-reproductive rights LR-131 was voted down?

No IVF for you!

No IVF for you!

The future Republicans signed us up for is here.


This past week, the Alabama Supreme court ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. If it’s not obvious yet, if the courts say you can’t destroy an IVF embryo, you won’t have access to IVF. Why would you expect a business to open themselves up to that kind of liability? Not surprisingly, several clinics in Alabama have begun pausing their IVF procedures.

In response to the backlash, Republicans are scrambling to explain why judges they put in place and laws they passed have led us here. They can run from the truth, but they can’t hide from it. I mean, the orange one was just bragging that he’s the reason Roe fell!

This is a logical, inevitable conclusion of attacks on reproductive freedoms. If you claim life begins at fertilization, you rob women of the right to control their own reproduction. Instead, you remove the rights of the living, breathing person in front of you in favor of a potential life. How can a woman have true equality and bodily autonomy if she can’t choose when or whether to be pregnant?


Republicans hate reproductive freedom


People might say that’s extreme to say. But let’s get real. As we previously wrote about before, the Montana GOP explicitly supports a complete ban on abortions with NO EXCEPTIONS for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Every Republican legislator in Great Falls has voted against abortion rights, again, and again. There are no moderate, elected Republicans willing to have a spine and stand up for women. They have made people with uteruses second class citizens.

If we want these poisonous changes to stop, we have to speak out and work to elect leaders that treat all people with dignity and respect. Leaders that care about our humanity, not just our reproductive abilities.