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UPDATED: Montanans react to SCOTUS leak to Politico, draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade

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UPDATED: Montanans react to SCOTUS leak to Politico, draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade

May 03, 2022 | 11:29 am ET
By Daily Montanan Staff
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Republican Senate, House leaders in Montana condemn SCOTUS leak to Politico
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The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Montanans reacted Tuesday to the release of the draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion striking down Roe v. Wade.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat, released the following statement:

“For nearly 50 years, women have been able to make their own private healthcare decisions without interference from the federal government,” said Tester. “If reports are accurate and this draft decision stands, the removal of that fundamental right will have devastating consequences for millions of women across this country.”

His office said Tester is a strong supporter of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into law.

The office of U.S. Senator Steve Daines, a Republican, identified him as the founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus and issued the following statement:

“Leaking a draft opinion by the Supreme Court is unprecedented and reprehensible. There should be an immediate investigation into who is responsible as it is a clear attempt to intimidate the Court. With that said, if the draft opinion stands, the Court will have righted an historic injustice and returned the power to the American people and their elected officials to enact laws to protect unborn children and mothers,” Daines said.

State legislative leaders also offered comments.

In a statement, Republicans Senate President Mark Blasdel and House Majority Leader Sue Vinton denounced the leak of the draft opinion reported by Politico in a story about the U.S. Supreme Court:

“We condemn this egregious leak by a woke liberal activist clearly designed to undermine and intimidate the U.S. Supreme Court. The court must issue its ruling based solely on the text of the U.S. Constitution. We will wait for the court’s official and final decision rather than comment on an improperly leaked draft. Roe v. Wade was wrong from the day it was issued and we hope and believe that life will prevail.”

Democrats House Minority Leader Kim Abbott and Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour released the following in response to reports the U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion would overturn the decision of nearly 50 years:

“If this decision holds, Montanans’ right to access abortion care is under greater attack than ever before. It is clear that some politicians will not stop until they can control even the most intimate aspects of our private decision making. Our state’s Constitutional right to privacy has never been more critical, and Montana’s Democratic legislators will fight tooth and nail to defend it.”

Martha Fuller, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Montana, said abortion remains legal in Montana

“We are here to tell you: Abortion is legal and is still protected in Montana by both our state constitution and by legal precedent,” Fuller said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood of Montana (PPMT) is still providing the health care you need and deserve, including abortion care, and stand with Montanans to protect the right to make decisions about your body, your life, and your future.

“This leaked draft opinion confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe. While we have seen the writing on the wall for decades, it is no less devastating, and comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide.

“Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and, because of supporters across Montana and the country, we are ready for the fight. And we are the majority – a full 75 percent of the American people support abortion decisions being left to a person and their medical provider.

“PPMT’s health centers remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion.”