- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana voters won’t have to decide whether to define what a person is in the state constitution.

The state Senate voted 30-20 Thursday in favor of a ballot referendum that sought to rewrite the constitution to declare that human life begins at conception.

The measure needed support from 42 Senators to meet the required 100 votes from both legislative chambers. The House approved the bill last month on a vote of 58-42.

While the proposal did not mention abortion, Republican Rep. Derek Skees of Kalispell made it clear that his bill was meant as a political salvo in his battle against legalized abortion.

Two other anti-abortion bills are awaiting further action in the Legislature, including one that would prohibit doctors from aborting viable fetuses.

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