Montana Supreme Court upholds ruling blocking abortion restrictions

A woman wears body paint saying "my body" and a handprint over her throat, as she joins protesters following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A woman wears body paint saying “my body” and a handprint over her throat, as she joins protesters following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Montana’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that temporarily blocks further restrictions on abortion. 

Planned Parenthood in a statement Tuesday announced that the Montana Supreme Court blocked three separate laws that were enacted during the state’s legislative session last year from taking effect. 

One of the laws would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, while another would have created numerous barriers to medication abortion, and a third would have implemented a mandatory ultrasound offer and documentation requirement for those seeking an abortion. 

A district court in September blocked those three laws from taking effect. Planned Parenthood’s Montana chapter filed the initial lawsuit challenging them. 

“We are pleased that the Montana Supreme Court ruled today to uphold the preliminary injunction put in place by the District Court in the fall. This means that three anti-abortion laws remain unenforceable, including a 20-week ban,” Planned Parenthood of Montana’s chapter president and CEO, Martha Stahl, said in a statement. 

“The Court upheld the Armstrong decision, which the State had requested be overturned, and abortion remains legal in Montana, protected by our constitutional right to privacy. This is a victory for our right to make personal medical decisions, free from the interference of government,” Stahl added.

The decision in Montana comes after Kansas voters last week soundly rejected an effort by Republicans in the state to strip abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution.

In July, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled that abortion services in the state could resume, blocking the state legislature from enforcing its so-called trigger ban. But earlier this month, an appeals court ruled that the state could go forward with implementing the near-total ban.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to note that an appeals court in August allowed the state’s abortion restrictions to resume as legal challenges play out in court.

Tags abortion access Abortion in the United States abortion rights Greg Gianforte Montana Montana Montana Supreme Court Planned Parenthood Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States
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