Montana “Egg As Person” Initiative Signature Count Falls Short

Emily Douglas

The egg-as-person initiative in Montana was stopped dead in its tracks yesterday when groups backing the initiative failed to obtain enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Colorado’s egg-as-person ballot initiative has succeeded, meaning that in November Colorado residents will be casting votes on when life begins. But opponents of a similar initiative in Montana say that, according to their research, supporters have failed to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot, the Missoulan reports.

The initiative, known as Constitutional Initiative 100, or CI-100, would define life as beginning at "conception" — a medically ambiguous moment distinct from implantation, which is defined as the moment when pregnancy begins. Groups organizing for CI-100 needed 44,000 signatures from Montana residents to put the initiative on the ballot, and opponents say supporters have collected less than 22,000. Twenty-five groups, including abortion rights and human rights organizations, came together to oppose the bill, which could, like its counterpart in Colorado, criminalize certain forms of hormonal contraception as well as stem cell research and in-vitro fertilization, and abortion. The Missoulan writes,

[Opponents of the measure] argued that CI-100 would have done
more than issue a complete ban on abortion. It also would have banned
certain kinds of birth control, like the IUD, which work by preventing
a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall. They said it
could have opened up women who suffer miscarriages to investigations
and complicated health care for all women of child-bearing age.

The Missoulan also notes that the state’s Catholic bishops never backed the measure. Nor did Montana Right to Life. As Dana Goldstein wrote when she covered this initiative in May,

Appreciate our work?

Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.


Montana’s bishops explained their rationale as such: "Legal experts
agree that the current Supreme Court would, at best, decline to hear
the case, and at worst, use the opportunity to reaffirm the right to
abortion yet another time. The more times the Supreme Court’s abortion
decisions are affirmed, the more difficult it becomes to obtain further
hearings from the Court and to expect decisions to end abortion."

Topics and Tags:

Ballot Initiatives 2008, Montana

Load More

Enjoy reading Rewire? Sign up for our email list to receive exclusive news and reporting.

Thank you for reading Rewire!