The right to individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.”

– The Montana Constitution

Considering the United States Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision, effectively leaving abortion rights up to the states, myriad opinion, amendments, lawsuits, and coverages have come forth nationwide. This is true of Montana advocacy – for and against abortion alterations – and is, for many Montanans, front and center.

Interpretation is inherently volatile. And this volatility is apparent in current legislative articulation in Montana, particularly regarding the key term, “privacy.” “Privacy,” says activist Bob Leach, “was never intended as a cloak for abortion.” But those in favor of abortion rights, such as the organization Planned Parenthood, claim that individual privacy indeed does cover abortion rights. Furthermore, and reflective of the current national situation, abortion advocates urge that the courts – not the legislators – must determine the constitutional terminology and meaning. Currently, Montana law allows for legal abortion up to 24 weeks gestation; the period of development inside the womb.

In an article covering the topic, AP News touches on relevant legislative proposals put forth by Montana governor Greg Gianforte. These proposals include:

  • Increased postpartum Medicaid coverage
  • A $1,200 tax credit for parents of children under six years of age and who earn under $50,000 per year
  • A $5,000 tax credit for families who adopt children

Abortion is a topic yielding endless debate that has a prospective of lasting indefinitely in our world. From politics to theology to online forums to household talking points and agendas, abortion remains a conceptual powerhouse of differing interpretation and stance – not only in Montana, but worldwide.