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LR-131 would have criminalized doctors and allowed politicians to interfere with families’ personal medical decisions

BILLINGS, MT — Montana voters rejected LR-131, a dangerous ballot measure that would have criminalized medical professionals for providing compassionate care to families facing tragic pregnancy complications, including newborns with fatal diagnoses. If approved, doctors and nurses could have faced a $50,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison for offering the care they were trained to provide for families in difficult circumstances. The victory is one of several for reproductive rights-related ballot measures this election, making clear that Montanans — like the majority of Americans — support reproductive freedom and do not want politicians interfering in medical decisions. 

Statement from Martha Fuller, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana:

“This is a victory for Montanans and for reproductive freedom. Despite the opposition’s campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering, Montanans saw LR-131 for what it was: a blatant and dangerous attempt to put politicians in charge of our personal medical decisions by stigmatizing abortion and lying about reproductive health care. Their plan backfired and we’re thrilled that voters rejected this amendment. The fight to protect reproductive rights in Montana is far from over. Time and again, anti-abortion lawmakers have proven they will stop at nothing to score cheap political points and strip constituents of their basic freedoms. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana will be on high alert during the upcoming legislative session and ready to fight back against new attacks on our bodies, lives, and futures.”

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Reproductive freedom was on the ballot this election and voters in Montana and across the country showed up to defend their right to bodily autonomy and self-determination. They’ve seen the impact of these bans and restrictions in their communities and nationwide, and fought back at the ballot box — proving without a doubt that this is a winning political issue. The fight for full equality and freedom continues and Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to working with our partners, state by state, to ensure that everyone can access the care they need, no matter what.”

In 2021 the Montana Legislature referred LR-131 to the 2022 ballot. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana and Planned Parenthood Parenthood Federation of America were partners in supporting Compassion for Montana Families: No on LR-131, a ballot committee which raised more than $800,000 to reach hundreds of thousands of voters through phone banking, canvassing, and community engagement on the harms of this amendment.