Intelligent Discontent

Bohlinger Claims He Was “Consistently” Pro-Choice. The Record Disagrees


I have no interest in attacking former Lieutenant Governor and current Senate candidate John Bohlinger, but his response to allegations about his pro-choice record do demand clarification. Today, he claimed that he was “consistently” pro-choice during his time in the Legislature:


It’s simply not true that Bohlinger was pro-choice, much less consistently so. His record is that of a legislator who was largely opposed to reproductive rights. To claim otherwise ignores his voting record from three sessions.

In 1999, Bohlinger received a 0% rating from Montana NARAL for voting for a so-called “partial birth abortion ban.” As NARAL noted then, the bill was a “blatant violation of a woman’s right to privacy and a clear threat to the reproductive health and well-being of women faced with this difficult decision.”

In 2001, Bohlinger also received a 0% rating from NARAL. That session, he voted for a “Fetal Protection Act” that could have “caused every stillbirth, pre-term delivery, and low birth weight baby to be investigated for criminal conduct.”

In 2003, Bohlinger received a 50% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Montana. That session, he voted for Dan McGee’s SB 274: Compelling Interest in the Protection of Unborn Human Life bill, which would have amended the Montana Constitution to dramatically restrict a woman’s right to choose. Proponents included Gregg Trude from Montana Right to Life, Gilda Clancy from Eagle Forum, and Bob Kelleher from Butte.

Bohlinger was so concerned about his pro-life credentials that he pursued a claim against a primary opponent who suggested Bohlinger was pro-choice in a private conversation.

I’d certainly be happy to learn that Mr. Bohlinger has realized the importance of reproductive rights, but there is no way he can honestly claim to have supported choice when he had the opportunity to vote for it.

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