Another day, another piece of useless legislation meant only to attack a women’s right to choose.
Like many other states led by many other Republican, anti-choice leaders, the state of Montana is hoping to pass an extreme anti-abortion legislation which would criminally charge doctors who perform abortions of any kind.
S.B. 282 bars abortions past 24 weeks of gestation, making it illegal to perform an abortion for any reason past this point, even if the life of the mother is at stake. Instead, the mother whose life is in danger would be forced to induce labor, giving the fetus a 50 percent chance of survival.
Most alarmingly, any doctor who does perform an abortion outside of these parameters could be charged with homicide.
The law was passed in the House on April 6, and then passed the Senate just days later. Now, it’s up to Governor Steve Bullock (D) to put a stop to the law.
According to ThinkProgress, it is unclear whether or not Bullock will veto the law. He has gone on-record in the past defending a women’s choice, so one can hope that he will uphold those principles against his state House and Senate.
Of course this legislation is in direct conflict with established law, including the constitutionally-protected Roe V. Wade. Still, that won’t stop lawmakers in the state from voting on the legislation and reminding women in their districts just how little they value their autonomy.
While we can be sure that the law would quickly be struck down in federal court, that surety is in danger as well.
With a new ultra-conservative on the Supreme Court, the certainty of Roe V. Wade is no longer guaranteed. If President Trump is allowed to appoint another extremist during his term to the SCOTUS, it could mean a complete overthrow of the long-established precedent on women’s choice.
So while these sorts of legislations are mostly symbolic at this level, the reality is that in the near future, what was Republican moral trumpeting could turn in to real restrictions on women’s agency.