A few months ago, I wrote a letter to Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte. I asked them about their feelings on the phrase “Protecting the sanctity of life” in regard to their pro-life and Christian sensibilities.

I’ve always been frustrated with this phrase so commonly used by our conservative politicians because on the surface it seems like a really beautiful sentiment, but when it comes to broader policy decisions it seems to quickly get forgotten. I asked them how they reconcile their feelings of wanting to protect the sanctity of life with their love of guns and refusal to approve even the most common sense of safety precautions.

You would think restricting the sale of military-style assault weapons, the kind so often used in mass shootings, would fall in line with the protection of life remarks they make when discussing abortion law. I also asked them why as a party, the GOP seems so keen on cutting funding for social services, especially the very kind of services that would benefit young mothers following through with unplanned pregnancies.

As a conservative politician, if you support the birth of every child despite the circumstances of the family, why then, would you not support the mothers and families struggling to raise these children? Is that not part of protecting the sanctity of life? Sadly, I received no response from either of my elected officials. Even more sadly, I think their expressed desire to protect life is more hyperbole and sound bite than it is a call to action or a standard of care for all Montanans.

Mark Genito