Legislative update: March 13 - 17

This is a big week for ACLU supported and opposed legislation! Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the which bills are moving, and respond to our ACLU Action Alerts!

Opposed by the ACLU

SB 329 - Adopt the Montana Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

SB 329 is an unconstitutional ban on abortion after 20 weeks, disguised as an attempt to protect “the lives of unborn children”. Sponsored by Rep. Keith Regier, this bill compromises women’s health and privacy and criminalizes abortion by creating serious legal ramifications for providers, including felony charges for physicians. Unconstitutional, manipulative and dangerous- this legislation has no place in our State!

SB 329 will be voted on later this week - Call your representatives and ask them to vote NO on this bill!

SB 282- 24 Week Abortion Ban

Senator Olszewski’s unconstitutional 24 Week Abortion Ban makes its way from the Senate to the House this week. Unfortunately, it flies in the face of over 40 years of SCOTUS precedent on the right of women to access abortion services. The Supreme Court has found again and again that states are prevented from setting a viability marker and that viability should only be determined by a doctor on a case-by-case basis. Sen. Olszewski’s bill also makes not exception for post-viability abortion when the life of the mother is at risk, another patently unconstitutional provision that violates Supreme Court precedent. Though the sponsor says that SB 282 is about protecting women, we know it is really the latest in a long list of attempts to make abortion almost impossible to access. This bill passed off the Senate floor and is now on its way to a hearing in the House this week.

Call your House representatives and tell them to get the government out of private, medical decisions and vote NO on SB 282!

HB 501 - Generally revise laws related to boycotts of Israel

HB 501 is sponsored by Republican House Speaker Austin Knudsen and pledges solidarity with Israel by promising to cut ties with companies supporting the pro-Palestinian movement. On the House floor, Speaker Knudsen explained that this bill was his response to anti-Semitic actions earlier this year in Whitefish, MT. Although we appreciate the sentiment, this bill has serious unintended consequences surrounding freedom of speech. Our government has no right to target businesses based off their political beliefs. To do so would infringe upon 1st Amendment Rights and set a dangerous precedent for the role our government would play in matters moving forward.

This bill will go before Senate State Administration Committee this Wednesday, March 15th at 3pm - Call your representatives today and tell them to vote NO on HB 501!

Supported by the ACLU

HB 133 - Generally revise sentencing laws

HB 133, sponsored by Representative McConnell, is a much needed overhaul to Montana’s sentencing laws, reducing jail and prison time for non-violent and first time offenses and giving many first time, low-level offenders a second chance to stay out of the criminal justice system.

HB 133 will be voted on later this week. Call your representatives TODAY and tell them to vote YES on this important bill!