Voters in Montana Reject Ballot Measure Requiring Medical Care for ‘Infants Who Are Born Alive’

In the recent midterm elections, Montana voters rejected the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have required medical professionals to give lifesaving medical care to newborns who were born prematurely or survived abortions. 

The Montana pro-life measure would not have prevented Montana women from obtaining an abortion but would have required “medical care be provided to infants born alive” because of a failed abortion, a cesarean section, or induced or natural labor. 

The measure failed with 52.6%, or 20,000 votes, voting against it and 47.4% voting in favor of its passage when the Associated Press called the race.

“A health care provider performing an abortion shall take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant who is viable. Suppose an abortion performed in a hospital results in a birth of a viable infant. In that case, the health care provider shall provide immediate medical care to the infant,” stated the ballot measure.

The legislation would have acknowledged that a baby born alive following an attempted abortion is a legal person and would have given them a right to receive medical care following birth. “If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of this state,” stated the pro-life legislation.

Law would have penalized doctors for not providing care

The law also would have penalized doctors if they did not take the necessary actions to “preserve the life of a born-alive infant” or treat the infants as living persons. It would have also recognized evidence of the life of an infant with a beating heart, breathing, and having definite voluntary muscle movement.

“Without proper legal protection, newly born infants who have survived abortions have been denied appropriate lifesaving or life-sustaining medical care and treatment and have been left to die,” read the bill.

“As with other ballot initiatives across the country, pro-abortion forces vastly outspent pro-life forces to drive dishonest messages to confuse the voters,” said the president of SBA Pro-Life America, Marjorie Dannenfelser. 

Dannenfelser continued, “In Montana, pro-abortion forces ran TV ads characterizing the initiative as ‘an extreme, harmful government intrusion into medical care,’ when all the initiative would do is provide the same level of care to an infant who survived an abortion as you would to an infant born early in pregnancy. If Montana voters knew the truth about what the initiative would actually do, it would have passed overwhelmingly. Our side must do a better job raising the resources needed to go toe-to-toe with the heavily funded abortion industry to arm voters with the truth.”

After the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court of the United States in June, abortion measures were on the ballot. They passed in five states, including Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, California, and Montana.