by Nathan Boddy
Kierstin Schmitt is not mincing words when she says, “We are outraged.”
The Bitterroot Valley local is one of many people whose response to the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade is one which will result in mobilization.
“We feel like our personal privacy rights and our rights to our own bodies are being violated. (We feel like we) are being seen as a property of the government and the property of the religions right,” says Schmitt, adding, “We will not stand for those types of violations of our personal rights.”
Schmitt and a group of like minded individuals are taking their first steps at expressing their outrage on Saturday, July 23rd in a ‘Reproductive Rights Rally,’ to be held at the intersection of Highway 93 and Main Street in Hamilton. Schmitt says that anyone who is concerned about women’s rights, reproductive rights and personal rights to their own bodies should attend.
While Montanans are still able to access abortion, several laws were passed by the state legislature in 2021, which could have restricted abortion had they not been enjoined by the state’s Supreme Court. Still, amending the State Constitution could be an objective to certain legislators like Brad Tschida, Representative of House District 97 in Missoula, who recently emailed a group of lawmakers that a woman’s womb, “serves no specific purpose to her life or well-being,” oth
er than serving as a sanctuary. Tschida spoke with Helena’s MTN News about the comment, and further explained that a womb, “welcomes in a new life and that’s what it’s there to do, to nurture and sustain that life.” Tschida also says he is not opposed to calling for a special session of legislature to limit abortion. He is not alone, and even Governor Greg Gianforte told KGVO Radio in May, “I would be happy to call a special session if we have a path that is defensible in the courts here in Montana and we have a consensus in the Legislature. Every life has to be protected.”
Statements like these are serving as catalysts for people like Schmitt to take action. “It’s extremely important in Montana because we have a radical, extremist right-wing Governor and legislators that have decided that the human rights of Montana citizens don’t matter,” says Schmitt. “They want to take away the rights that currently exist for Montana residents and we feel like this has to be addressed immediately. We won’t stand for it.”
“We feel like our personal privacy rights, and the rights to our own bodies are being violated and are being seen as a property of the government and the property of the religious right.”
The Reproductive Rights Rally is slated to begin at 12 noon at the intersection of Highway 93 and Main Street in Hamilton.