US Sen. Jon Tester fights for reproductive rights supported by majority of Montanans

Jon Tester

A 60% majority of adult Montanans support safe and legal abortion in all or many cases, according to a February 2023 Middle Fork Strategies poll. Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s record has been in line with those views, but the three Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation have consistently opposed reproductive rights and are currently co-sponsoring anti-abortion legislation.

In November 2022, Montanans voted 53%-47% to reject a legislative referendum that would have bestowed legal rights for fetuses deemed to have been “born alive” after an abortion. 

Here’s where Montana’s U.S. senators and representatives stand on reproductive rights.

Sen. Jon Tester (D)

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s official website notes: “Jon knows that the federal government shouldn’t stand between a woman and her doctor and that all Montanans deserve high quality care. He firmly believes in a woman’s private right to make her own health care decisions without interference from the government and opposes putting women and doctors in jail when exercising this long held right. He is helping to lead the fight in Congress to guarantee privacy for women to make their own medical decisions.”

Tester has a 100% rating from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, indicating complete support for sexual and reproductive health, and is a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would restore the federal right to choose an abortion previously protected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling.

Sen. Steve Daines (R)

Daines, who has a 0% Planned Parenthood Action Fund rating, has an entire section on his official site highlighting his opposition to abortion. 

He is a co-sponsor of the Women’s Right to Know Act, a bill that would force doctors to tell anyone seeking an abortion, in person, about potential dangers of the process and require patients to wait at least 24 hours before having the procedure; of the Dignity for Aborted Children Act, which would would require aborted fetal tissue to be cremated or buried; and of the SAVE Moms and Babies Act, which would bar FDA approval of any new medication abortion drugs. 

Daines also is co-sponsoring a bill to prevent any federal Title X family planning grants from going to or funding organizations that perform abortions and one to bar abortion providers from participating in state Medicaid programs. 

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R)

Zinke, who earned a 0% Planned Parenthood Action Fund score and who said in his 2022 campaign that abortion should be decided by state legislatures, voted in October 2023 to ban access to medication abortion drugs by mail. 

He is a co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2023, which would prohibit private health care plans sold on the Obamacare exchange from including abortion coverage even if none of the funds for the procedure came from federal subsidies.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R)

Rosendale has a 0% Planned Parenthood Action Fund rating. In a December 2017 Facebook Live appearance, he said: “I am absolutely 100% pro-life. I do not believe in abortion, I do not believe that you should provide for any exceptions. I do not feel that you can rectify one tragedy by performing another tragedy.”
Rosendale is a co-sponsor of numerous anti-abortion bills, including proposals to require patients to have and review medically unnecessary ultrasounds before having the procedure, to block abortion access for unaccompanied immigrant minors, to prohibit the government from helping employees to travel to obtain abortion care, and to eliminate the Department of Health and Human Services Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force. Like Zinke, he is a co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.