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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

State Supreme Court rewrites proposed abortion initiative, clears the way for signature gathering

The doors to the Montana Supreme Court chambers.
Shaylee Ragar

The Montana Supreme Court has rephrased a proposed ballot initiative after its supporters and the state Attorney General clashed over the language. The initiative about abortion access can now advance.

The state’s Supreme Court justices rewrote the proposal after ruling Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s version deficient. However, the court said he made valid points about vague language in the original proposal, which would enshrine abortion access in the Montana Constitution.

Knudsen had originally blocked the proposed initiative from Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights, but was overruled by the state Supreme Court. He was then allowed to provide his own version of the proposal, which supporters challenged as inaccurate.

The court will deliver the final language to the Montana Secretary of State, saying the proposal is ready for signature gathering.

Supporters have until June 21 to collect 60,000 signatures from across the state to earn the proposal a spot on the 2024 ballot.

Shaylee covers state government and politics for Montana Public Radio. Please share tips, questions and concerns at 406-539-1677 or  
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