The Supreme Court’s ruling last month came down like a wrecking ball. For the first time in history, the Supreme Court took away freedom. In Dobbs, the Court sent women back 150 years, justifying its decision by saying the issue of abortion is up to the people and “their elected representatives.” 

Some justify Dobbs by saying it is about states’ rights. But, in NY State Rifle & Pistol Association, the Court took the opposite approach, rejecting New York’s 100-year old law, passed by the people’s elected representatives, to address gun violence in a densely urban state. 

The only consistent threat in the Court's decisions is the imposition of a minority, authoritarian view on the majority.

McConnell promised a federal ban on abortion if Republicans win in 2022. Dobbs cleverly preserved such a national ban by leaving the issue to the people’s “elected representatives” rather than the “states.”

In the meantime, the legal vacuum left by Dobbs is being filled by extreme decisions in the states. Idaho and Louisiana have introduced bills to criminalize birth control. Some states no longer allow any exception for rape, incest, or to save the life of a pregnant woman. Missouri has proposed a Fugitive Pregnancy law, making it illegal to leave the state to get an abortion.

Montanans are fiercely protective of our right to privacy. A majority of Montanans support a constitutional right to choose when and whether to become a parent. That right includes the right to choose how we educate our children, whether and who we marry, and to raise our children with our own values - including what religion, if any, we choose to practice. 

Ryan Zinke applauded Dobbs and pledged his fealty to national leadership, even where it is out of step with Montana. Zinke was in Congress when the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. If banning abortion were what the majority of people wanted, Zinke and his national party had their chance. Instead of persuading a majority of Americans that they were right, they stacked the courts with judges to restrict our freedom. 

Marching in lockstep with that national agenda, the Supreme Court imposed an 1800s view of the world on us all. 

It has had its say.

But we have the next word. The November 2022 election is our chance to bring our country to the center, to bind up the nation’s wounds caused by extremism. 

The transformative nature of America is in acknowledging that we are not perfect. Montana’s new congressional seat gives us hope - because it gives us a choice. We can go the way the Supreme Court is pointing - toward authoritarianism and restricting who participates in our democracy. Or, we can strive for a more perfect union. We can strive for more expansive views of liberty, and of democracy. We can be ever more inclusive. 

We have the next word, and who we elect this November will represent our Montana voice.

As a lifelong Montanan, having spent my entire professional career advocating for Montanans in Montana, I will be Montana’s voice in that debate in a way that Zinke will not. 

I will work to strengthen the middle class, and sponsor laws that reduce the need for abortions by restoring the child-tax credit and making child-care afforable. Nearly half of those who chose abortions are parents who cannot afford another child. I will codify a national right to access to abortion, access to contraception, and a right to marry. These laws give people and families real freedom by giving them a real choice.