MISSOULA, Mont. – The ACLU of Montana today launched its first-ever statewide voter mobilization effort about the urgent civil liberties and civil rights issues -- including access to abortion -- at stake in the 2020 election. The Montana governor’s race is the focus of the voter education push.
The ACLU of Montana does not support, oppose, or endorse candidates. The goal of this campaign is to inform voters on the candidates’ positions and how those positions could impact the lives of Montanans.
“Civil rights and civil liberties, like abortion rights, are under attack, and that’s why we decided to get involved in this election,” said Caitlin Borgmann, executive director with the ACLU of Montana.
Through its voter outreach and education work, the ACLU of Montana will reach over 100,000 voters throughout the state. Through mailers and digital ads, the organization will publicize the stance of gubernatorial candidates Mike Cooney and Greg Gianforte on issues including abortion and access to mental health and substance use disorder services.
The ACLU of Montana sent a questionnaire to the gubernatorial candidates in August. Lt. Governor Cooney answered that he would veto any legislation that bans or restricts abortion. Congressman Gianforte did not answer the questionnaire but has publicly stated that he supports overturning Roe v. Wade. Gianforte also cosponsored a 2019 bill that would have criminalized abortion providers wherein they could face up to five years in prison.
“Abortion rights are on the line in this election. Our goal is to protect the right of abortion in Montana and protect medical providers from being criminalized for performing abortions by ensuring that people are informed before they vote,” said Borgmann.
The questionnaire also included questions pertaining to LGBTQ equality, criminal legal reform, and Indigenous Justice.