Born-alive referendum voted down

Montana voters have rejected the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act constitutional referendum, the Associated Press projected Thursday morning.

Legislative Referendum 131 saw 231,739 votes cast against compared to 209,218 for it for a margin of 53% to 47%.

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

 The referendum 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.

The Montana Medical Association, which opposed the measure, applauded the results Thursday morning. 

“The Montana Medical Association is pleased that the practice of medicine will be left to doctors and patients,” the organization said in a statement. “The measure would have criminalized the work of Montana providers and posed very real negative impacts on families experiencing tragic pregnancy complications. These are tragedies, not crimes.”

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The referendum was put on the ballot by Republican lawmakers in the

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