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MT laws protecting health of women considering abortion under attack

ADF attorneys serve as co-counsel with MT attorney general in lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood
Published On: 1/20/2022

Related Case: Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State of Montana


HELENA, Mont. – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and co-counsel Alliance Defending Freedom Wednesday filed a brief asking the Montana Supreme Court to deny Planned Parenthood’s request to block enforcement of commonsense laws that protect the health and safety of women considering abortion. A lower court previously halted enforcement of the new laws passed during the 2021 legislative session.

“Women in Montana deserve protections for their health and safety, and full information about any medical procedure. This is no less true for a woman who seeks out an abortion,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, director of the ADF Center for Life. “Tragically, many women turn to abortion as a last resort, unaware of the abundance of resources available to them and uninformed of the complications that can occur. Abortionists are the only beneficiary when commonsense state laws to empower women are repealed. We are hopeful the Montana Supreme Court will uphold these vital protections for women and unborn babies.”

The state of Montana has long maintained health-and-safety regulations to help minimize the medical risks to mothers and ensure that pregnant women are fully informed about the risks and consequences before they undergo an abortion.

Last year, the state legislature adjusted these protections to guarantee that women are not prescribed dangerous chemical abortion drugs without first being physically examined by a physician, do not undergo risky late-term abortions in the sixth month of pregnancy or beyond, and are offered an opportunity to see and hear an ultrasound of the child in their own womb.

As the opening brief states, “Offering an expectant mother considering abortion an opportunity to view an ultrasound or hear the fetal heartbeat, both of which she is free to decline, nevertheless empowers her to more fully understand the procedure she is choosing to undergo. A woman has a right to know what is happening inside her and to make an informed decision about whether to obtain an abortion.”

The laws at issue in Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State of Montana carried bill numbers HB 136, HB 171, HB 140, and HB 229. In 2020, Planned Parenthood dropped a similar case in Arizona that challenged several laws protecting the health and safety of women in that state.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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