I am 100% pro-choice. The landmark Roe v Wade (1973) decision which ensured that women in America had the legal right to an abortion paved the way for me and millions of other women to start our families when we were economically and emotionally ready. All women, regardless of income or education, deserve the right to make personal decisions regarding if, when and how many children to bear.
Since the day Roe was decided, state legislatures, including Montana's have passed law after law limiting a woman's right to choose. The Montana legislature has passed laws that mandate 24-hour waiting periods, "so-called" informed consent, and other restrictions limiting a woman's ability to exercise her full rights to reproductive freedom. Fortunately, Montana's Supreme Court has struck down these laws as a violation of our Constitution.
All of these laws have successfully been challenged in the state court system, and none of them are in effect, though they remain in code. Still, the ability to access an abortion in Montana has been curtailed. Currently only 11% of Montana's counties offer services for woman seeking abortions. This means that women who live in rural communities or who lack financial resources face undue, and sometimes insurmountable, obstacles to accessing abortion.
The overwhelming majority of Montana clinics offering women reproductive and other health care, do not offer abortion services. Limiting funding or access to these clinics negatively impacts the health of the thousands of women, men and children who depend on these clinics for routine health care including breast exams, cervical cancer screening, immunizations and more.
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