Lawmakers Debate Humanity of Fetus - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Lawmakers Debate Humanity of Fetus

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Tuesdays, lawmakers heard a bill that would bring the legality of abortions in Montana into question. Rather than addressing the time frame in which a woman could get an abortion, the bill addresses whether or not that fetus should be considered a person.

Republican Representative Derek Skees of Kalispell is behind the bill, which says life begins at conception.

Opponents say this is just another attempt to outlaw abortion altogether and it would put constraints on birth control, like emergency contraception. In turn, Skees says the bill is open to amendments to protect the mother.

 “Rape, incest, life of the mother…a lot of those exceptions you can put in the legislation after the fact as long as  you adhere to the fact that all life is sacred," says Skees.

“It really has the impact of affecting all sorts of things that we do including birth control access,” said Democratic Representative Laurie Bishop of Livingston. “Absolutely I expect this to be challenged [in court] if it were to pass. So we're looking, right off the bat, at something that will have extreme financial consequences.”

Similar attempts have failed in the legislature and the initiative process in the past. But Skees says the political environment is ripe for challenging abortion on the national level as well, now that Republicans control Congress and the White House.

  This bill passed the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and is headed to the House floor. It will require a two-thirds vote from both chambers since it changes the Montana Constitution. If it passes, Montana voters will then get the final say on the 2018 ballot.

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