Montana organizers submit signatures to put abortion rights bill on ballot

A reproductive rights advocacy group in Montana has submitted signatures to put an anti-abortion state constitutional amendment on the ballot in November.

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights (MSRR) announced Friday that it had submitted more than 117,000 signatures — nearly twice the roughly 60,000 required — to qualify its bill for the general election ballot.

Montana is one of several states where organizers are pushing to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago and ended federal protections for abortion access. Democrats also hope the measures will boost voter turnout and help pro-abortion rights candidates in hotly contested elections.

“As we approach the second anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded why this amendment is so important to Montana families,” Martha Fuller, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana and spokesperson for MSRR, said in a statement.

“In Montana, our rights are under attack by extreme anti-abortion activists who are trying by any means possible to take away our freedom to make private medical decisions. But the people of Montana are standing up to protect the right to abortion,” Fuller said.

However, submitting the signatures does not automatically mean the measure will appear on the November ballot, as vote counts must be verified at the county level and submitted to the Montana Secretary of State for approval before the measure can be officially approved, MSRR noted.

Votes on bills to protect abortion rights are already pending in Colorado, Florida, Maryland and South Dakota – and similar efforts are also underway in Arizona, Missouri and Nevada.

After Roe's case, the issue of abortion will loom large in the 2024 election, and the latest development in Montana comes just days before the second anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision.

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Anna Harden

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