The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana on Tuesday launched its first-ever statewide voter mobilization effort to educate more than 100,000 voters on civil liberties and civil rights issues at stake in the 2020 election.

The voter education initiative will focus on the Montana governor’s race, according to a news release. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Montana does not support, oppose or endorse candidates. 

“Civil rights and civil liberties, like abortion rights, are under attack, and that’s why we decided to get involved in this election,” Caitlin Borgmann, executive director with the ACLU of Montana, said in a statement. 

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. 

Responding to an ACLU questionnaire, Cooney answered that he would veto any legislation that bans or restricts abortion. 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,” Borgmann said in a statement. 

The questionnaire included questions pertaining to LGBTQ equality, criminal legal reform and Indigenous Justice. 

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