Montana Senior Senator Jon Tester held a Facebook live town meeting on Tuesday to answer questions from viewers on a variety of topics, but he first expressed his total support for Roe v Wade.

“For nearly 50 years, women have had the ability to make their own healthcare decisions; deeply personal and private decisions without interference from the federal government,” began Tester. “I quite frankly think it ought to stay that way. I don't think anybody wants to be bossed around by the federal government, and because of the Roe versus Wade decision 50 years ago, women have been able to make that decision. Those rights have been taken away now.”

Tester elaborated on the possible repercussions of having abortion decisions back at the state level.

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“If that decision draft that was released is true, this is going to have devastating consequences for millions of women across this country,” he said. “The bottom line is that a government really has no place between a woman and her doctor. This was argued here many years ago. It was true then and it is true now.”

Tester referenced a vote to be held this week in the U.S. Senate to codify the right to abortion.

“We're going to continue to try to fight to defend this right, but to be honest with you, there are not enough votes here in the Senate to be able to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, even though we're going to have a vote on it probably tomorrow or the next day in the Senate,” he said. “I am a firm supporter that bill. I am firm supporter of a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.”

Another question brought up during his Facebook Town hall meeting concerned the mining of ‘critical minerals’ here in Montana rather than in countries like China.

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill put some money into the U.S. Geological Survey for the mapping of critical minerals both in the ground and in mine waste,” he said. “I think that's really important. And by the way, they've had some successes in finding these, and I think we're going to be able to start producing this stuff right here in the United States. It is critically important. They're called critical minerals for a reason, and we need them. We don't need to be dependent on any other country for them. We should have it right here.”

Click here to view Tester’s entire Facebook Town Hall meeting.

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