Governor Gianforte Defends Life

Governor champions pro-life, pro-child, pro-family policies

Governor's Office
  • May 03 2023

HELENA, Mont. – Joined by Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras, pro-life advocates, and members of the 68th Legislature, Governor Greg Gianforte today celebrated a suite of bills advanced this legislative session to defend life.

“Today, we stand together on the steps of the people’s house, to mark another historic day for Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Today, we are protecting the lives of the most vulnerable among us, unborn babies.”


Gov. Gianforte signing HB 303 with the bill sponsor, Rep. Amy Regier

Building on historic progress in 2021 to advance pro-life measures, Gov. Gianforte today signed five bills into law to defend life and celebrated five additional bills on their way to his desk.

“This package of pro-family, pro-child, pro-life bills will make a lasting difference in Montana. We couldn’t have done it alone, and I just want to thank the thousands of Montanans throughout the state who made their voices heard and made today possible,” Gov. Gianforte said.

First, the package strengthens Montana law to better ensure taxpayer dollars are not used to fund elective abortions.

“Montanans sent us to Helena to boldly defend life, not send their tax dollars to abortion clinics,” the governor said, praising sponsors Rep. Jane Gillette, R-Bozeman, and Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, who carried HB 544 and HB 862, respectively. “Montanans hard-earned money should not be used by the government to fund elective abortions.”

Second, the package defends life, protecting babies born alive following a botched abortion, restricting dismemberment abortion of babies, and prohibiting the abortion of viable babies, unless necessary to protect the life of the mother.

The governor praised Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe, R-Billings, the sponsor of HB 625, Speaker of the House Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, the sponsor of HB 721, and Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R-Great Falls, the sponsor of HB 575, for carrying legislation to that end.

“Like you, I firmly believe all life is precious and must be protected,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Today, we’re giving a voice to the voiceless.”

Third, carried by Rep. Amy Regier, R-Kalispell, the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act in Montana protects providers from discrimination for exercising their right of conscience.

“For too long, the First Amendment rights of these providers have been ignored and left unprotected. HB 303 changes that. It establishes the right of medical conscience, protecting nurses and physicians who cannot conscientiously perform a specific procedure,” the governor said.

Fourth, the package improves the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ (DPHHS) ability to ensure abortion clinics within the state meet medical and safety standards.

Sponsored by Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R-Great Falls, HB 786 requires providers report to DPHHS women harmed by abortion pills. HB 937, also carried by Rep. Sheldon-Galloway, provides for licensure and appropriate oversight of abortion clinics by DPHHS.

Finally, carried by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, SB 154 clarifies the right to privacy in the Montana Constitution does not mean the right to an abortion.

“Senator Regier’s Senate Bill 154 was one of the most important bills brought this session. For years in Montana, abortion activists have used the cloak of a shaky legal interpretation to advance their pro-abortion agenda. That stops today. No more,” the governor said.

Before signing five of the bills into law, Gov. Gianforte highlighted two key pro-life, pro-child, pro-family policies in his Budget for Montana Families – a $1,200 refundable child tax credit for children under six years of age and an adoption tax credit up to $7,500.

“As we stand firm for life, we must also ensure all Montana kids, from unborn babies to teenagers, have the opportunity to reach their full God-given potential,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Folks, this must be one of the next chapters of our pro-life, pro-child, pro-family agenda.”

Sponsored by Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, R-Kalispell, HB 225 makes it easier for Montanans to open their homes to children by providing an adoption tax credit of $5,000 or $7,500 if the child is adopted within Montana. Rep. Josh Kassmier, R-Fort Benton, carried the governor’s child tax credit proposal through HB 221, which the legislature did not advance to the governor’s desk.

Gov. Gianforte’s bill signing may be viewed here.