Montana governor vetoes Born-Alive Infant Protection Act

Montana state capitol Credit Natalia Bratslavsky  Shutterstock Montana state capitol. | Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.

A leading national pro-life group has criticized Montana's governor for vetoing a bill that would require medical professionals to save babies who survive an abortion attempt.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, decried Governor Steve Bullock's veto of the Montana Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.

"Once again Governor Bullock sides with abortion extremists, going so far as to veto compassionate, popular legislation designed to provide care for children who survive failed abortions," she said in a press release.

The veto was among seven measures blocked by Bullock this week.

Sponsored by Republican Sen. Al Olszewski, the bill passed through the Senate and House in April. The legislation would have required medical professionals to provide "appropriate lifesaving or life-sustaining medical care" to any baby who survives an abortion attempt.

Under the bill, doctors would have been required to administer medical care to a baby, provided there was evidence of life - breathing, heart beat, definite movement, or umbilical cord pulsation. Medical professionals who failed to comply could have faced up to a $50,000 fine and 20 years in prison.

Critics of the bill argue that it would block late-term abortions, as doctors would be obligated to save a viable fetus. According to the Associated Press, Bullock stated that the bill would interfere with "deeply personal medical decisions."

"If this bill were enacted, a woman could be subjected to forced caesarian section or inducement of labor if continuing her pregnancy after viability threatened her life – in violation of established legal precedent," the governor said.

During a Senate Judiciary committee hearing in March, Olszewski stressed the important role this bill has in opposing infanticide, according to the Billings Gazette.

"There is a national debate attempting to legitimize the intentional killing of a baby born alive if the medical provider and the parents deem or decide that it is necessary or should happen," he said.

In February, a federal Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed to achieve the 60 Senate votes necessary to move forward. At the state level, similar legislation has been introduced this year in Texas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Kansas.

A nationwide poll taken SBA List found that 77 percent of voters support legislation that ensures medical treatment for babies who survive abortions.

SBA List said that its current $200,000 ad campaign "exposes the extremism" of poltiicans like Bullock when it comes to abortion.

"Governor Bullock is no moderate when it comes to abortion, and we're exposing his extremist record to the voters," said Dannenfelser.

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