There was much speculation about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization earlier in the year. This ruling overturned Roe v. Wade. It could mobilize the left’s unhinged, radical pro-abortion crowd, destroying the Republicans’ hopes for a red tide. Or would rising crime and crippling inflation send a flood to the ballot box, a bitter rebuke to Joe Biden’s disastrous policies?
Pre-election polling showed that the economy, crime, and immigration were the top three issues on voters’ minds. Even on Election Day, exit polling showed that voters voted for their pockets over social issues such as abortion.
Montana apparently did not get the memo.
Legislative Referendum 131 was the law on the ballot, according to The Daily Wire. It asked Montanans whether “infants who are born alive, even those born after an abortion, should be legal persons” and they were asked whether or not to sign LR 131 into law. It was a simple yes/no question about giving babies life-saving treatment.
Montana voted “No”:
52.4% of Montana residents voted “No” to the referendum with 95% of the votes in, compared to 47.6% who voted for “Yes.”
It is important to be clear that abortion was not on this ballot. This measure was intended to guarantee that all babies born alive, even those who have had an abortion, receive life-saving medical treatment. Some claimed that medical staff would be unfairly punished for not providing medical treatment. Others claimed that it was necessary to protect the dignity and value of every new life.
You could also argue that the Dobbs decision played a part in Montanans rejecting the referendum, either directly or indirectly. Fox News Digital was told by SBA Pro-Life America president that pro-abortion groups spent money to defeat the initiative in the wake of Dobbs.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of SBA Pro-Life America stated that “as with other ballot initiatives throughout the country, pro-abortion and pro-life forces vastly outspent the pro-life forces to drive disinformation to confuse the voters.” Fox News Digital interviewed Dannenfelser.
Dannenfelser added that pro-abortion forces had run TV ads describing the initiative as an “extreme, harmful government intrusion in medical care,” when the initiative would provide the same level of care to an infant who has survived an abortion as it would for an infant who was born earlier. It would have been passed unanimously if Montana voters had known the truth about the initiative’s true purpose.
Conservatives and pro-life activists on Twitter agreed with her.
I’m horrified that even ONE person would vote in Montana to deny babies healthcare after they’ve already been born. They’re basically saying they want the babies left out to die.
We need Jesus to save our nation. Desperately.
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) November 10, 2022
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) November 10, 2022
LR 131 was a missed chance to ensure that every Montana baby would receive the proper care to thrive and survive. It is shameful that those most in need of these protections will not be granted them.
Our littlest ones deserve better.