Screw Montana

I know you’re reading that headline and if you’re from Montana, you may not like me right now. Well, I’m speaking today as a Montanan… well, a former Montanan. I moved to Illinois a few years ago after spending over half of my life in The Big Sky state, and I look back every once in a while in fondness. Today, however, I look back in disgust. Right when I think that state starts to become progressive, the legislature goes and pulls the most backwards, awful, malicious and downright evil thing I have ever seen in politics.

Republican Senator Dan McGee of Laurel, MT recently introduced Senate Bill 46, an amendment to the Right to Privacy article in the state’s Constitution. Given the recent track record of the government’s respect for “right to privacy,” everyone should have cause for alarm. For this case, it’s well justified.

The original Constitution article reads:

The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.


The amendment Mr. Magoo, I mean, McGee wants to add to that is:

The protection of unborn human life is a compelling state interest. 


The meaning behind this is both clear, and not at all. McGag, I mean, McGee is trying to circumvent the laws concerning that one little court ruling from many years ago by changing the state’s Constitution itself to basically say that Montana doesn’t view abortions as legal. (Why play fair when you can change the rules, eh?) Speaking as an unrepentant asshole, it’s almost admirable to see how hard he is spitting in the face of the Supreme Court, excluding the fact that he’s using such diabolical and careless means to reach his goal. See, given the loose words that he is using to make his Machiavellian dream a reality, he’s essentially… well, Allyson Hagen says it best.

“This amendment would authorize governmental intrusion into every pregnancy and undermine private medical decisions made between a woman and her doctor. We should be very careful when considering amending this vital protection against intrusive and unwarranted government intervention in our state constitution.”

That’s right, folks. Should this bill pass, essentially every pregnant woman in Montana would be under scrutiny of the ever-expanding Big Brother. Nothing will stop the government from planting a flag in your uterus. Montana now has emotional (apparently) and financial interest in your unborn baby. That baby’s not yours so much as it’s Montana’s now. In essence, your little shrimp-like fetus essentially becomes the state’s chattel property. Now, there’s a word for that and I’m trying to remember what that is…. It’s on the tip of my tongue…. Oh yeah, that’s it….


No need to mince words here. Once a human becomes property, that person is slavery — plain and simple. Pregnant women are being turned into a commodity, or at the very least, bargaining chips.
At what fucking point did everyone lose their goddamn minds? This is the twenty-first century United States, not Sudan in the 1400s. We’re talking about people, here. Human fucking beings. Is this what the Republican party has reduced themselves to in order to reach their goal — promoting slavery? You already look racist, Republican party. You might want to back the fuck off of pushing this bill for fear of looking not just sexist as well, but retarded and devoid of guidance.

Regardless, this bill is such a flagrant slap in the face of civil rights that there’s no way it’ll pass. Any senator with half a brain would vote against it.

‘Unborn life’ bill passes in Senate

No way. No fucking way. Jesus Christ, it fucking passed!? IT PASSED THE SENATE!? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!?! HAS THE WORLD GONE INSANE!? AAARRGGH! AAAAHHH!

*end transmission*


12 Responses to Screw Montana

  1. Cathy Stone says:

    But, Boone, you know you can’t judge the whole state of Montana by the rantings of a few of their Republicans. Their day is waning and they know it. A constitutional amendment the likes of Mr. McGee’s will never get out of the legislature or signed by the governor and certainly will never be passed by the populace. The concern I have is with the current make-up of the United States Supreme Court where a majority of justices will vote to end Roe v Wade, throwing it back to the states to decide. Then we’ll be in trouble.

  2. Page says:

    There’s a sign someone put up on a fence on the side of the Interstate when you drive through Wisconsin (going north from Milwaukee toward Green Bay).

    I am not making this up. The sign reads:
    “Abortion: millions of Americans who will never pay social security taxes.”

    Is that the “compelling state interest” they’re talking about in Montana?

    I wish I was kidding.

  3. Darby says:

    I would go further than your blog post title, Boone, and say “fuck Montana.” Or at least, those who passed this fascist amendment.

    I would also point out that this eradication of privacy isn’t limited to women confirmed to be pregnant. Any female of childbearing age (essentially, 11-year-olds to 55-year-olds) would fall under intrusive state government monitoring, because pregnancies cannot be proven until they are usually a month in…leaving the poor “unborn” completely unprotected by the state for several weeks.

    To fulfill this retarded (and that’s an insult to retarded people) bill to its fullest, all females of a certain age (and hell, who can be bothered to confirm age? ALL females) would be banned from any activity that could potentially harm any potential “unborn” or trigger a miscarriage.

    No coffee or tea drinking or caffeine of any kind, no exercise, no horseback riding, of course no alcohol, no medicines that could harm a fetus. And naturally, all contraceptives would be forbidden to women.

    Basically, to really enforce this amendment, females in Montana would have to be treated like those Texas cult broads. Females would be banned from all sports and physical activities, refused almost every medicine (including many over-the-counter pain and cold remedies), refused a great deal of foods and drinks…

    For fuck’s sake, enemy combatants in Gitmo have more rights. It’d be less traumatizing for girls and women to be forced to wear burkas and have acid thrown in their faces when they try to go to school, than to try to live in a state that treats women as if they’re cattle.

    Actually, I think cattle are given medicines that would be denied to women, so that’s not quite a fair comparison.

    Fuck Montana’s state senate. And McGee? He should be given the respect he’s due, Dan Savage style. What horrible sex act (or sex act-related substance) can be called “McGee” to properly honor this senator?

  4. To be fair Boone, even though the bill has passed the Senate, it still has to pass the House, be signed and then be approved by voters in 2010.

    From the Gazette:

    “Sen. Daniel McGee, the bill’s sponsor, said the issue should be placed before the voters of Montana, not decided by lawmakers or courts.”

    Of course he says that. He wants his amendment to pass. Here’s the deal. If this issue were heard and decided solely by lawmakers, it would fail. It would fail because so many groups would come out in opposition to point out the impossible-to-avoid problems of this proposed amendment that it would become clear that approving it would mean, more or less, the end of breeding-aged women’s privacy.

    What’s a pro-life, god-fearing Republican to do, then, if he wants to save the children? Well, he gets the issue before the relatively unread, uninformed, mostly conservative masses who will see it as nothing more than a “killing babies” issue and pass it by a wide margin.

    And then what? Well, your other commenters have told us what that could mean. I don’t agree with your slavery bit, Boone. A “compelling state interest” doesn’t necessarily mean a “financial” interest. But no matter what kind of interest it is, the right to privacy in our constitution is supposed to prevent any individual, born or unborn, from attracting that much interest from the government.

  5. Boone says:

    Becker: Perhaps slavery might be a bit of a stretch, but should the bill pass, I guarantee you that it will, in some context, come up. The loose language of the bill allows for one to interpret the law such that, essentially, the unborn baby is, more or less, property of the state. Given the law’s wording, abortion’s aren’t illegal, per se, but should you have one, the state could essentially sue you (or worse, throw you in incarceration) over it. Basically, the state has turned itself into the asshole father in a confusing paternity case. Therefore, the state sees your baby as its property.

    When you get down to it, this is one of those “feel good” laws (*shutters*) that was written for the sole purpose for the pro-life, religious right to feel like they’re doing “God’s work.” (*shutters again*) At best, it’s an unenforceable law that people will simply ignore because it’s retarded (like sodomy laws), and at worst, the most obtrusive, insane civil right violation to ever be conceived. It’s fascist in every sense of the word and has no business ever being written, let alone being “brought forth to the people.”

  6. You’re right, of course. The wording of the bill is loose, but only in one way.

    The amendment, if approved by the legislature and added to the ballot in 2010, would add the following line to the right to privacy clause of the constitution:

    The protection of unborn human life is a compelling state interest.

    You mentioned this above. Now, let’s forget for a moment any reasonable questions about why this language belongs in the right to privacy portion of the constitution and tackle the loose language.

    …unborn human life…

    The way I see it is this: you have to prove that that little thing growing inside a woman is human before the state has a compelling interest in it. Bigger scholars than those in the Montana State Legislature have been debating the moment that humanity begins for more combined hours than contained in all of Montana’s legislative sessions.

    Pretend that we’re down to it. The amendment has passed and we’re testing this sumbitch out in court for the first time. Is a judge going to rule on when life begins? Will he or she feel like the bench provides that much authority? Will the vagueness of the bill make the amendment unenforceable? I think so.

    That’s not to say that I’m OK with this getting into the state constitution in the first place. The right to privacy clause is a model of simplicity, and this senator from Laurel is trying to gum it up with some sort of unnecessary and useless pro-life clause.

    I hope the House and the governor have more sense than the distinguished senator from Laurel and that we never have to see this ugly monster tested in a court of law.

  7. […] repeat the argument here. I’ll direct you instead to Boone Harris’s blog where’s he’s written about it and where I’ve commented about it. Enjoy and, please, if you’re a Montanan, write your […]

  8. Boone says:

    Becker: Based on what I’ve read, the law wouldn’t go into effect in 2010, but immediately upon its passage, whenever that may be. Could be in 2010, could be in a month.
    And the definition of when life begins has been in argument since before Roe v. Wade, true, so that’s why I’m looking at it from a different angle. The amount of permutations in how one can (mis)interpret this amendment revision are virtually endless.

    The hard fact remains that Constitutions exist to extend our civil liberties, not limit them. Women’s suffrage, Prohibition, the Civil Rights movement…. You can’t give and take without severe recourse.

    I just hope this stupid thing dies in the House or with Governor Schweitzer. Should it pass, the amount of money the state’s going to spend to defend this retarded/unconstitutional amendment (only to have it ultimately overturned by the federal Supreme Court) will be insane. Believe that.

  9. rattitude says:

    I wouldn’t sit back and assume it won’t pass. Many a stupid political action has slipped by because it seemed to stupid to pass but no one made it their job to stop it.

  10. Boone, from the text of the bill itself: “This amendment shall be submitted to the qualified electors of Montana at the general election to be held in November 2010 by printing on the ballot the full title of this act and the following…” It would not be voted upon by the public until 2010, plain and simple.

    And on constitutions: Constitutions don’t exist to expand our civil liberties. They exist to structure governments and give them basic rules for how they will operate. Remember, we had to get the U.S. Constitution amended to include consideration of civil liberties at all — including the examples you note.

    I’ll wax generally for a second here.

    All laws and constitutions exist to limit our actions, not to give us rights. Be default, all people have all rights imaginable. We need no piece of paper to tell us that we have the right to free speech or the right to a jury trial or the right to remain silent. We have those rights natively.

    However, if everyone went around doing whatever they wanted willy-nilly, it would be chaos, as everyone’s actions would impinge on everyone else’s innate rights and even their safety.

    So as a society we agree to give up some of our freedom and some of our rights in exchange for safety. This is the social contract.

    I’d ask you to remember that every “freedom” we are “granted” in the U.S. Constitution is really just a check on the government’s power over us. In a very real sense, we are not telling ourselves what we can do; we are telling the government what it cannot do. Hence my point: all laws and constitutions exist to limit rights and powers, not to grant them.

  11. Let me reiterate something quickly — I’m not disagreeing with your position, just with some of your words. I don’t like the bill or the amendment it would spawn either.

  12. Barb says:

    You know, I am just now, in April 09, reading ‘Screw Montana’ and I feel just like you do. I was born in Indiana and now maybe am wishing that I would have stayed there instead of coming out here in 1971. Montana not only can own the womb that a baby can, or is supposed to be ‘safe’ in but did you know that they can also swoop up an elderly relative, lock, stock and barrel and take them to a nursing home, take their house, their money and own them and you have nothing to say about it. Montana is really a shit hole of a state and can’t afford to right now, but when it is retiring time, which I’m hoping will be soon, I outta here!!! That is the most ungodly thing to do is to take a heathy, happy relative, pluck them litterally out of their house while they are screaming that they don’t want to go and putting them where they DON’T WANT TO BE. Yeah, you are right about Montana, too bad we don’t have good enough representation in this state to have BALLS enough to stand up to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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