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Legislative Ref. 131 – LR-131


Initiative puts abortion indirectly on the ballot

By JORGIA HAWTHORNE Community News Service UM School of Journalism

The University of Montana Oval echoed with the voices of nearly 100 students, many chanting, “My body, my choice! My state, my choice!” The rally was both in defense of reproductive rights but also in opposition to the so-called “Born-Alive Infant Protection Act” on the ballot this year.

The initiative, which has passed in some 18 other states, addresses a specific and uncommon situation that has attracted attention from both sides of the divisive debate over reproductive rights. Listed on the ballot as Legislative Referendum 131, the proposal requires physicians and health care professionals to provide care to any infant born alive or face criminal charges.

The initiative, which the Legislature placed on the ballot before the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the U.S. constitutional right to an abortion in June, adds two clauses into state law: that “a bornalive infa...