Tester Defends Montana Women and Families Against Politically Motivated, Anti-Choice Health Care Attack

Senator: Stop Political Attacks and Fund Montana Community Health Centers

(U.S. Senate) – Ten days before the government is scheduled to run out of funding again, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today issued the following statement after standing with Montana women and families and defeating a bill that would have banned the freedom to choose after 20 weeks:

“This was another politically motivated attack to try and put the government between a woman and her doctor. We are ten days away from another government shutdown and rather than work towards a long-term budget, to fund our Community Health Centers, or secure our borders, Congress is wasting precious time trying to tell women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. This is another failure of leadership and Montanans deserve better.”

Tester received praise for his vote against the controversial 20-week abortion ban proposed.

“At Planned Parenthood, our top priority is making sure that every woman can control her own body and make her own private health care decisions without interference from politicians,” said Martha Stahl, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Montana. “This one-size-fits-all ban leaves women in potentially vulnerable and dangerous positions, and does nothing to protect women’s health. Planned Parenthood of Montana and Senator Tester stand for the power of women to determine their own lives and futures and to make this country better for it.”

“Sen. Tester is exactly the kind of champion we need fighting for our reproductive rights in Congress,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Women and families in Montana, and all across the country, deserve someone who will stand up for our basic human rights. We applaud Sen. Tester for reaffirming every woman’s right to make her own medical decisions with the help of her doctor, not Congress.”

In addition to banning abortions after 20 weeks, which are very rare, the proposed bill would have also forced victims of rape and incest to report their abuse, whether they want to or not, in order to obtain an abortion.

Tester opposed a short-term, 17-day budget last week that didn’t include funding for Community Health Centers and other critical health care initiatives. The federal government is scheduled to run out of funding on February 8.

Funding for Community Health Centers lapsed 121 days ago. Over 100,000 Montanans rely on Community Health Centers in 17 communities for medical, dental, mental, vision, and preventive health care.

Tester helped defeat the proposed legislation 51-46.