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Abortion and the 2022 midterm elections: 5 states voted on abortion access

The first legislative referendum before Montana voters called for them to adopt the Born Live Child Protection Act, which declares babies born alive after an abortion to be legal persons. The bill also imposes criminal penalties on health care providers who do not take “medically appropriate and appropriate action” to preserve the lives of these infants.

The measure states that a living infant is one who “after complete expulsion or extraction from the mother, breathes, has a beating heart, or has a definite movement of voluntary muscles.” The resolution also establishes that “an infant born is entitled to medically appropriate care and treatment.”

If voters approve, the law will take effect January 1. Medical providers found guilty of violating the measure will face a fine of up to $50,000 or up to 20 years in state prison.

A 2016 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that examined infant deaths for a 12-year period from 2003 to 2014 where the code for termination of pregnancy is mentioned in the death certificate found that 143 “certain can be classified as involving an induced termination.”

Terms reported on death certificates that indicate induced termination of pregnancy range from abortion for maternal medical reasons to attempted self-abortion to elective abortion to induced loss of pregnancy.

Additionally, there are existing laws on the books at the federal and state levels that will protect babies as they are born and possibly apply to medical providers who withhold care.

Under Montana law, abortion can still be performed until the viability of the fetus, and in 1999 the state’s Supreme Court found that the state’s constitution’s right to personal privacy includes the right to “reproductive autonomy” that protects the right to abortion. does.

While the state legislature enacted a number of abortion limits in 2021, including a 20-week abortion ban, a ban on drug abortion, and a requirement for an ultrasound, in August the Montana Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that ruled three abortions during the proceedings. Temporarily blocks restrictions. continue.

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