Montana 2011 Legislature

Mar 21, 2011 8:35 PM by Marnee Banks (Helena)

"Personhood" debated in Montana Legislature

The debate over when life begins was addressed on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives on Monday.

MT State Representative Wendy Warburton (R-Havre) has introduced a bill that proposes that life begins at conception.

Her bill would let Montana voters decide if the state Constitution should be amended to include the language.

Warburton said, "Genetic code is decided on day one. We know her gender, her hair color, her eye color, what every dimple and smirk will look like. Her heart beats by three weeks gestation. Her brain waves begin at 40 days."

MT State Representative Michele Reinhart (D-Missoula) said, "A fetus does not enjoy a constitutionally-protected status and is not a person until viability. According to the Supreme Court case many of you dislike Roe v Wade. But yet it is still the law of the land and it trumps any amendments to a State Constitution.

A constitutional amendment requires support from two thirds of the Montana legislature.

62 Representatives favor the bill, which means it needs 38 votes in the Senate to pass.

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