I hear preachings of less government, less government, less government. But when it comes to happy couples wanting to marry, the government says no. When schools try to educate our youth about the realities of sex, the government puts on the blind fold. And it could soon be that if you and your spouse decide to split, you will need some good ol' government appointed counseling.

It was proposed that married couples would be required to participate in 10 hours of divorce counseling before going through with it. The House Majority Leader Tim McGillvray, of Billings, believes it is too easy to get a divorce and that it hurts our communities having one parent homes. I think, that just maybe, it's too easy to get married. The pre-divorce counseling I believe could be a great tool to help parents figure out exactly what will work best for their kids. But just like everything else in America, aren't we entitled to our freedoms even if it does mean we will make mistakes?  I would argue it's too easy for someone to kill someone with a gun, but we've already established it's not the ease of the action, it's the will to  act that is the problem.

On top of these issues, lawmakers are attempting to mandate that all abortion patients undergo an ultrasound to show the mother what her child looks like during that stage of life.

It would take support from two-thirds of all lawmakers to place the issue on the ballot for voters to decide. Even if every Republican voted for it, the measure would still fall four votes short of getting the 100 needed.

Despite the long odds, opponents and supporters argued at length over the matter.

Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, said fetuses are not recognized as people only because doing so would be inconvenient. She argued the situation is similar to when slaves were treated as less than human to justify stealing their labor from them.

She said her proposed change to the Constitution would settle, legally, when life starts.

"I saw we draw the line where science and common sense demands: at conception," Warburton said.

Christian conservatives backing the plan urged Republicans to keep advancing the anti-abortion and other such measures despite the lack of formal support from leadership.

"We should keep pushing this even if some don't feel this is the appropriate time," said Harris Himes, a Hamilton pastor and spokesman for the Montana Eagle Forum.

But opponents pointed out the perceived hypocrisy of Republicans promising limited government and personal responsibility and then delivering more government rules.

"What do we get? More interference in our personal lives," said Stan Frasier, of Helena. "This is about using the Constitution to impose someone else's nutty religious views on the rest of us."

Opponents said that granting legal rights from the moment of conception would give the state the obligation to protect that fetus from all decisions made by the mother during the pregnancy and would conflict with the constitutional right to privacy held by the mother.

"This government would have the right to interfere with every single decision in that pregnancy in order to protect that fetus," said Niki Zupanic, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.

I'm not arguing either pro-life or pro-choice but I will argue to my grave that any well educated person is aware of the choice they are making. Getting that education starts at home and should be continued at school to help guarantee it reaches everyone. Why is math, science, literature, art and physical health acceptable to teach while sex education is still a taboo? Could it be our prudence towards the subject that diminishes the real impact it has on our lives thus becoming noneffective in influencing societies conscience?

Another GOP-backed proposal up for debate Monday follows controversy in Helena schools over a sex education policy. The measure would let parents withdraw their children from sex education classes without penalizing the child for missing class.

It would also require that parents are given notice two days in advance for any proposed sex education.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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