HELENA — The Montana House has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment bill that would define human life as beginning at conception.
Representatives voted 54-46 to endorse House Bill 425 on second reading Friday. Because it would amend the constitution, the bill requires the support of two-thirds of the Legislature before it could be placed on the November 2016 ballot.
Republican Rep. Matthew Monforton of Bozeman sponsored the measure, but told supporters in February he thought it would have a tough time gaining traction.
Opponents say the new language could restrict access to abortion even before viability while supporters say the goal is to stop abortions instead of regulating them.
It’s the third time such a bill has come before the Montana Legislature. Similar efforts in other states have failed.