By Anita Kuennen

If the latest Montana legislative session taught us anything it is this: there are still many lawmakers in this state who would like to see women lose their constitutional right to privacy and equality. Indeed, many don’t comprehend that reproductive health care is not exclusively a woman’s issue, but affects the health of Montana children and families.

This legislative session was particularly disappointing in how the legislators decided to arrange their priorities.

Lawmakers spent precious time in their bi-annual session debating a constitutional amendment to define personhood at conception and establish rights for a fetus that would have created unlimited possibilities for conflict between a woman and her pregnancy. They also debated an amendment to provide protection to the unborn as a compelling state interest and similarly creating constitutional language that would jeopardize a pregnant woman’s ability to make private decisions related to her health.