Montana Sen. Steve Daines co-sponsors bill for federal pro-life website - TAI News
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Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks ranking member Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Alabama Republican U.S. Sen. Katie Britt introduced a bill on May 9, with co-sponsors including Montana Sen. Steve Daines, to create a website containing resources for pregnant people but excluding information about abortion care.

The bill, titled the More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed (MOMS) Act, would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a new government-run website that would offer resources for pregnant people. The bill prohibits the inclusion of any information about abortion providers in the website’s list of resources or any counseling in support of patients who choose to have the procedure.

The only resources about abortion allowed on the site would concern the “risks of abortion” and so-called abortion reversal, a term for a purported procedure that has been widely discredited by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as disinformation that is not based in science. The bill additionally embraces the concept of fetal personhood by requiring the state where the pregnant person lives to enforce the collection of child support payments from the impregnator in certain cases.

Introduced by Britt and Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, the bill is co-sponsored by 13 Republican senators, including Daines, who has a record of opposing abortion and is chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Raising kids takes a village, and we should be doing everything we can to support new moms before and after they welcome a new baby,” Daines, the founder and former chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, said in a statement.

In June 2023, on the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, Daines released a statement that said: “The fight for Life is far from done as radical demands for abortion-on-demand until birth grow fierce. I will continue to fight against abortion extremism and advocate for the most vulnerable among us until all Americans are afforded the most fundamental right—the Right to Life.”

Recently, however, Daines has taken a more moderate position on abortion. According to a story reported by the Washington Post in February, the Montana senator had directed his Republican colleagues to support exceptions in abortion bans for rape and incest as well as the practice of in vitro fertilization. 

The bill says the database would collect information on users, encouraging pregnant people to answer questions in order to obtain resources where they live, including pregnancy and parenting help, health and well-being services, and financial and legal support.

“This legislation is further evidence that you can absolutely be pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-family at the same time,” Britt said in a statement.

A group of 11 U.S. Democratic senators issued a statement in response to the bill on May 13.

“Americans don’t want the government to track, intimidate, and coerce pregnant women into carrying their pregnancies to term no matter their circumstances,” said the statement, which was issued by Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Patty Murray of Washington, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Laphonza Butler of California. “Yet, Senate Republicans want to mandate the creation of an online federal database where women will be encouraged to register their pregnancies with the government in order to push them toward anti-abortion propaganda and dangerous crisis pregnancy centers — this tells us exactly how Republicans will weaponize the whole of government to restrict a woman’s freedom to choose and force them to stay pregnant no matter what.”

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