(U.S. News) Montana voters have rejected a legislative referendum that raised the prospect of criminal charges for health care providers unless they take “all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life” of an infant born alive, including after an attempted abortion.
Health care professionals and other opponents argued the proposal could rob parents of precious time with infants born with incurable medical issues if doctors are forced to attempt treatment.
“Today’s win sends a clear message to state leadership: Montanans demand our right to make private health care decisions for ourselves and our families with the help of our trusted medical teams — and without interference from politicians,” Hillary-Anne Crosby, a spokesperson for an organization called Compassion for Montana Families that opposed the measure, said in a statement Thursday.
The outcome comes after a series of wins for abortion rights supporters in states around the country where abortion was directly on the ballot during the midterm elections. Voters enshrined abortion protections into state constitutions in Michigan, California and Vermont. They also voted down an anti-abortion constitutional amendment in conservative Kentucky, just as voters did in Kansas in August.