Born-alive referendum failing by 52%-to-48% margin

In election results as of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act constitutional referendum was failing by a 19,529-vote margin.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning turnout was at 55%, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. There were 442 of the state’s precincts fully reporting by Wednesday morning and 221 partially reporting results.

There were 213,841 votes cast against the referendum compared to 194,312 for it by Wednesday morning. That put opposition at 52% compared to support at 48%.

Beginning at 8p.m., the Montana Secretary of State’s Office will release general election results. Tallies will be updated throughout the evening. 

Legislative Referendum 131 says that “infants born alive, including infants born alive after an abortion, are legal persons.” It would require “health care providers to take necessary actions to preserve the life of a born-alive infant” and comes with penalties of up to 20 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

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The referendum was put on the ballot by Republican lawmakers in the 2021 legislative session after they abandoned a path to enact the policy

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