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Montana Politics

Guest Post: Jesse Laslovich: A Strong Advocate for Reproductive Rights

This post is a guest post from a concerned reader.

One of the benefits of an established voting record is that it allows you to know exactly where a candidate stands on the issues. This is certainly the case for Jesse Laslovich, Candidate for Attorney General. So, it concerns me when baseless accusations are thrown around in an attempt to get the rumor mill churning. I am, of course, referring to the false accusation that Jesse Laslovich is anything but solidly pro-choice.

Jesse Laslovich has consistently stood on the floors of the Montana State Legislature and asserted that reproductive choice is an “intensely personal” affair that the government should steer completely clear of.

After almost a decade of elected public service, Jesse consistently earned “A” ratings from Pro-Choice Montana. No other candidate that announces for AG will be able to make such a claim. Why? Because no rumored candidate has had to demonstrate their support for reproductive rights through votes in the Montana Legislature.

“Tier B” races are delicate affairs, especially when it comes to primaries. Any rumor, whether based in fact or fiction, has the ability to create a tsunami of mischaracterization, misconceptions, and falsities. We should stand our ground and adhere to fact and fact alone.
When Steve Bullock inevitably announces his bid for the Governorship, others will toss their hats in the ring for AG. I’m unsure who I will support, but I can tell you that when I cast my ballot, I will have no doubts in my mind about where Jesse Laslovich stands on the issue of choice. Laslovich is a strong advocate for reproductive rights and, in part, that’s what makes him such a strong candidate for Attorney General.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • I’m very happy to see this post because I, too, had read the rumors that Laz was anti-choice.  I even went so far as to say that no progressive in Missoula would vote for an anti-choice candidate in the Democratic primary.

    One thing troubles me, though.  A post from a “concerned reader?”  That brings up the credibility of the writer.  Isn’t there someone out there who is willing to publish their name in the defense of Jesse?    

  • Is he a Catholic?  You WON’T find many Catholics willing to go against the Church.  They get nearly run out. Does anyone know?  An “-ich” from Butte, he could very  well be Catholic.

  • Alas, facts are stubborn things.  If you look at the website of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, you find that Laslovich has anti-choice votes. 

    For example, he voted for SB 327 in 2009, the so-called “Protection for Mothers to Be, Sponsor Sen. Curtiss (R-Fortine)” This bill sought to define “unborn child” as a human who is conceived but is not yet born. While the outward appearance of the bill seemed to be aimed at creating harsher penalties for assault against a pregnant woman, the bill elevated the fetus to the legal status of the woman. This bill was heavily amended two times. The only remaining language from the original bill was fetal personhood language. SB 327 passed out of the Senate after being heavily amended, 34-16 and died in House Judiciary. There was a motion to ‘blast’ the bill which failed. A “no” vote is a pro-choice vote.  Laslovich voted for it.

    The position of AG is too important for women to elect someone with anti-choice votes.  As a woman, I won’t be voting for Laslovich.

    Here is the voting record.  He has other anti-choice votes in the past as well.  Look it up for yourselves.  http://www.prochoicemontana.org/updates/legislators.shtml

  • If Laslovich is such a “strong advocate for Reproductive Rights” why won’t he come out and explain his anti-choice votes?  Seems a little strange. 

  • I think that Laslovich may be a nice guy but he is not 100 percent prochoice and as such he won’t get my vote. NARAL doesn’t give out “a ratings” they just give a percentage and Jesse is not 100 percent on the issue. 4ounds like whomeve posted this isn’t very familiar with the cause…

    • You’re right, he’s not a 100 percent on the issue.  He’s 90%.  But of course our totally neutral commentators here wouldn’t leave out that little fact just because it destroys 90% of their case.  Frankly, voting only for candidates with 100% marks from ANY associations suggestions a lack of compromise that is not conducive to existing in civil society. 

      Also, Larry, that’s a rather bigoted statement, wouldn’t you say?

      • Bigoted?  Not at all.  Hell, I was RAISED Catholic!  I know exactly how they are and how they act and how they think!  Think I’m kidding?  Ask legislator Bob Melhoff from GF why he quit teaching at the Catholic high school here.  They didn’t like Bob’s take on abortion!  Ask him.

        The Catholic church has a long history of exerting its influence on politicians of that faith.  God god, man, were you born yesterday?  I’m not making any of this up.

        • Larry – that is true about the church hierarchy.  However, all ten of the most Catholic states in the country are consistently blue, and seven of the ten most pro-choice states in the country are also among the ten most Catholic states in the country.  So judging a man so quickly for his faith seems rather harsh. 

          • Oh bullshit!  Look, when the church READS from the pulpit TWICE before the last presidential election that if a Catholic voted for Obama, it would put their soul in jeopardy, sorry, but THAT religion will get NO respect from me!  A respect for life is one thing, but an encouragment of fascism is quite another!

            Save your morality speeches for when you know something about what you’re talking about. It’s time to pull their tax exempt status.  They have become a political organization, an extreme rightwing one at that.

          • Larry, I’m not talking about the church here.  I’m talking about one man, who, like most of his coreligionists, is more liberal than the average Montanan who is not Catholic.  Punishing or pre-judging someone for the statements made by the head of their religion when  they have demonstrated their opposition to those positions is unfair.  It’s no more fair than those who judged Obama to be ‘anti-American’ because his pastor subscribed to Black Liberation Theology. 

          • Larry, I’m not talking about the church here.  I’m talking about one man, who, like most of his coreligionists, is more liberal than the average Montanan who is not Catholic.  Punishing or pre-judging someone for the statements made by the head of their religion when  they have demonstrated their opposition to those positions is unfair.  It’s no more fair than those who judged Obama to be ‘anti-American’ because his pastor subscribed to Black Liberation Theology. 

  • Well, Pwolf, I stand behind what I’ve written.  Again, I know what I know.  And you wanna know sumthin’?  My 84 yr. old mother was OUTRAGED when the priest at her local church read the bishop’s letter that anyone who voted for Obama was risking hell.  There is NO woman more Catholic than my mom.  And I was outraged that the church she loved would resort to such horseshit.  It’ll probably be a long time before I set foot again in a Catholic church.  I quit them once before, but this time I think it’s for good.

    Now,  don’t get me wrong, there are individual Catholics who are truly inspired, godly people possessing the power of the Holy Spirit,  people who are doing amazing things.  But even these folks are usually at odds with their church.  Let me be blunt.  Someone ASK Jesse if he’s willing to go against church teaching on abortion.  It’s simple.  Either he is or he isn’t.  And for the record, I personally can’t support ANY religion that still doesn’t believe in birth control.

    I attended Catholic schools when there were nuns.  I thank the Church for my education.  I think the Church for my faith and morals.  But I  part COMPANY with the Church for their medieval, fascistic ways.

    • Well there we can agree – the men in charge of the Catholic church are incredibly out of touch with the morals of the people who believe in it.  And oftentimes I think the common sense and compassion of Catholics in general is far closer to what is taught in scripture than the bizarre way the Church interprets it.  

      • I didn’t leave the church, the church left me.  I have always believed in the idea of Liberation Theology.  And that is anathema to the hierarchy.  I’ll take my chances with my sould to do what’s right. Helping people is right.

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