Montana organizers submit signatures to add abortion-rights measure to the ballot

A reproductive-rights group in Montana has submitted signatures to put a state constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the ballot in November.

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights (MSRR) announced Friday that it turned in more than 117,000 signatures — nearly double the approximate 60,000 required — to qualify its measure for the general election ballot.

Montana is one of several states where organizers are pushing to enshrine abortion rights through state constitutions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal protections for abortion access two years ago. Democrats also hope the measures will boost turnout and help abortion-rights candidates in competitive races.

“As we approach the second anniversary of Roe vs. Wade being overturned, we’re reminded why this amendment is so important to Montana families,” Martha Fuller, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana and spokesperson for MSRR, said in a statement.

“In Montana, our rights are being targeted by extreme anti-abortion politicians who are trying every trick in the book to rip away our freedom to make private medical decisions. But Montanans are showing up to say that they are ready to protect the right to abortion,” Fuller said.

The signature submission, though, doesn’t immediately mean the measure will appear on the November ballots — as county-level counts have to be verified and sent over to the Montana secretary of state for approval before the effort can officially qualify, MSRR noted.

Ballot measures aimed at protecting abortion rights are already on the ballot in Colorado, Florida, Maryland and South Dakota — and efforts are underway in Arizona, Missouri and Nevada, among others.

The issue of abortion looms large over the 2024 election in the wake of Roe’s fall, and the latest development in Montana comes just days before the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision.

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