Montana | In the News

Abortion-Rights Advocates Urge Opposition to Restrictions in Mont.
In related news, abortion-rights supporters on Friday gathered in Billings, Mont., to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and call for continued opposition to restrictions on reproductive rights in the state, Helena Independent Record reports.

Guest Columnist Urges Abortion-Rights Supporters To 'Push Back' Against 'Anti-Choice Violence'
While the sentencing of "an anti-choice vandal" last week "sends a strong message that anti-choice violence will not be tolerated in" Montana, abortion-rights supporters "cannot end the conversation here," columnist Maggie Moran writes in a Bozeman Daily Chronicle opinion piece.

Featured Blogs
"Texas Abortion Case Reaches the Court," (Denniston, SCOTUSblog, 6/19); "Montana Abortion Clinic Vandal Sentenced to Prison," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 6/19); "All States Should Offer One-Year Supplies of Birth Control," (Sosa, Care2, 6/21).

Featured Blogs
"Think the 'Personhood' Issue Is Over? Think Again," (Turner, RH Reality Check, 5/1); "This State Is Actually Protecting Reproductive Rights," (Clark, Refinery29, 5/4).

Mont. Governor Rejects Three Antiabortion-Rights Bills
Mont. Gov. Steve Bullock (D) this week vetoed a telemedicine abortion ban (HB 587) and an antiabortion-rights measure (SB 349) targeting health insurers, the AP/Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Featured Blogs
"Millennials Lead a Texas-Sized Movement for Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice" (Perez, National Partnership for Women & Families' blog, 4/29), "Colorado's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Works, and That's Why Conservatives Want to Kill It,"(Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/28), "Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder" (Marty, Care2, 4/28) and "Montana Governor Vetoes Telemedicine Abortion Ban" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 4/29).

"Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder"
"Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder" (Marty, Care2, 4/28).

States Increasingly Passing Antiabortion-Rights Bills Based on 'Junk,' 'Unsubstantiated Science'
This year's legislative session "is shaping up to be a primer in what abortion rights advocates call 'junk science,'" with state lawmakers across the U.S. passing measures "based on theories that have been called into question or debunked by the wider medical community," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"Why This Longtime Abortion Provider May Never Reopen Her Practice," (Marty/Cahill, Cosmopolitan, 4/10); "Alaska Bill Restricts Sexual Health Education in Schools," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 4/13).

Mont. House Advances Antiabortion-Rights Health Insurance Bill
The Montana House has voted to advance a bill (SB 349) that would require insurers offering a plan with abortion coverage to also offer a plan without abortion coverage, the AP/CBS Seattle reports.

Half of States Now Bar Abortion Coverage in ACA Marketplaces; Other States Considering Similar Measures
There are now 25 states that bar private health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) insurance marketplaces from including abortion coverage, and lawmakers are set to consider similar measures in other states this year, National Journal reports.

Mont. House Endorses Bill Calling for 'Personhood' Ballot Initiative
The Montana House on Friday voted 54-46 to endorse a bill (HB 425) that would authorize a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception, the AP/Franklin Daily Journal reports.

Mont. House Passes Telemedicine Abortion Ban
The Montana House on Monday voted 54-46 to pass a bill (HB 587) that would prohibit physicians from providing medication abortion via telemedicine, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

Mont. Bill Would Require Use of Fetal Anesthesia in Abortion Procedures
Montana lawmakers are weighing a bill (HB 479) that would require anesthesia to be administered to fetuses before abortions if the woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant, the AP/Missoulian reports.

Mont. Supreme Court Reverses Ruling on Parental Involvement Laws
The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a lower court decision that found the state could not defend two parental involvement laws (LR 120, HR 391) because a prior case had found similar restrictions unconstitutional, the Missoulian reports.

Mont. Lawmakers Drafting Bills To Restrict Abortion Rights, But Gov. Resists Measures
Various Montana lawmakers are drafting legislation that would increase restrictions on abortion in the state, but Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is not likely to sign such measures, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

Many States Fail To Meet Women's Health Needs, Disparities Persist
Massachusetts ranks as the best state in the U.S. for meeting women's health needs, while Mississippi is the worst state, according to the Alliance for a Just Society's 2014 Women's Health Report Card, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Report: States' Abortion Restrictions Tied to Worse Health Outcomes for Women, Children
States that have enacted more abortion restrictions tend to fare worse on women and children's health outcomes and have fewer policies in place that support their health and well-being, according to a report released Wednesday by Ibis Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Huffington Post reports.

Judge Dismisses Criminal Charges Against Pregnant Woman for Allegedly Endangering Fetus
A Montana judge on Monday dismissed charges of felony child endangerment filed against a woman for allegedly ingesting drugs while 12 weeks pregnant, USA Today reports.

Featured Blogs
"Abortion Rights Aren't Safe in the South," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 9/2); "Montana Charges Woman With 'Criminal Endangerment' at Just 12 Weeks Pregnant," (Marty, Care2, 9/2).

Featured Blogs
"It's Time To Pass the NY Women's Equality Act, Tenth Point Included," (Ruoff, Huffington Post blogs, 4/11); "While One State Wants To Criminalize 'Bad' Pregnant People, Another Goes After 'Bad' Mothers," (Marty, Care2, 4/11); "America's Abortion-Free Zone Grows," (Marty, Daily Beast, 4/14); "Is Preventing Surrogacy Feminist? No, It's Anti-Choice," (Matson, RH Reality Check, 4/11).

Mont. Can No Longer Defend Parental Involvement Laws, Judge Rules
A Montana judge ruled Friday that the state must drop its defense of two laws (LR 120, HB 391) that require parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions because the requirements were already struck down 15 years ago, the Missoulian reports.

Mont. Parental Involvement Laws Draw Court Challenge
Planned Parenthood of Montana on Thursday filed suit in a state district court against two laws (LR 120, HB 391) that require minors to involve their parents in abortion decisions, the AP/Great Falls Tribune reports.

Mont. Parental Consent Bill Becomes Law After Gov. Declines To Act on It
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) on Thursday allowed legislation (HB 391) requiring minors to obtain parental consent before abortions to become law without his signature, the AP/Montana Standard reports.

Mont. Senate Advances Bill To Reinstate Family Planning Funding
The Montana Senate this weekend advanced a budget bill that would restore $4.6 million in family planning funds, the Billings Gazette reports.

Mont. House Budget Deal Excludes Plan To Restore Federal Family Planning Funds
As part of a last-minute budget deal with the Republican majority, Montana House Democrats on Tuesday did not attempt to restore $4.6 million in federal family planning funds to a state spending bill, The Missoulian reports.

Mont. House Panel Rejects Motion To Restore Family Planning Funds
The Montana House Appropriations Committee on Monday voted 11-10 against a motion that would have restored $4.6 million in federal family planning funds that flow through the state to local health clinics, The Missoulian reports.

Mont. House Approves Parental Consent Bill
The Montana House on Tuesday voted 59-41 in favor of legislation (HB 391) that would require written parental consent before a minor can obtain an abortion, the AP/Missoulian reports.

Mont. Antiabortion Groups Push New Restrictions After Last Year's Ballot Victory
Bolstered by last year's approval of a parental notification ballot measure (LR 120), antiabortion-rights groups in Montana are pushing a bill (HB 104) that would criminalize the killing of a fetus, the AP/Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

New York Times Editorial, Columnist Weigh Election's Significance for Women's Health
The New York Times recently published an editorial and a column that discuss how Tuesday's election results relate to women's reproductive health issues. Summaries appear below.

Mont. Voters Approve Parental Notification Ballot Measure
Montana voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure (LR 120) that will require parental notification before a minor younger than 16 can obtain an abortion, the AP/Billings Gazette reports.

Mont. Ballot Measure Could Have 'Dangerous Consequences' for Teens, Letter States
A Montana ballot measure (LR 120) that would require parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion "will endanger already vulnerable teens," Ryann Milne-Price, a reproductive health counselor in the state, writes in a letter to the editor of Missoulian.

Mont. Parental Notification Measure Would Endanger Teens, Opinion Piece Argues
Montana voters "must take the time to carefully consider just what is at stake" with a state ballot initiative (LR 120) that would require parental notification before minors can obtain abortion care, writes Stacey Anderson, director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Montana, in a Missoulian opinion piece.

Fla., Mont. Are 'Exceptions' to 'Paucity' of Women's Health Referendums This Year, Salon Piece States
No "personhood" measures are on state ballots this year, but initiatives Florida and Montana provide "exceptions to the relative paucity" of reproductive health-related referendums in this election, Irin Carmon writes in Salon.

Mont. Referendum Follows Failed Attempts at Enacting Parental Involvement Legislation
A Montana ballot measure (LR 120) that would require parental notification before minors can obtain abortion care comes after multiple failed attempts to enact the requirement by other means, The Missoulian reports.

Planned Parenthood Warns Against Mont. Parental Notification Ballot Measure
Planned Parenthood of Montana is pushing back against a state ballot initiative (LR 120) that would require parental notification at least 48 hours before minors ages 16 and younger can obtain abortion care, NBC Montana reports.

Mont. 'Personhood' Measure Fails To Qualify for Nov. Ballot
A measure (CI 108) that would have amended the state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a "person" did not receive enough signatures to appear on the November ballot, the Columbia Falls Hungry Horse News reports.

Mont. Voters To Decide on Parental Notification Measure in Nov.
Montana voters next month will consider a ballot initiative (LR 120) that would require parental notification before minors can obtain abortion care, the Columbia Falls Hungry Horse News reports.

Montana 'Personhood' Proposal Fails To Qualify for Nov. Ballot
Supporters of a Montana "personhood" measure (CI-108) did not collect enough signatures to qualify their proposal for the November ballot, the Missoulian reports.

Judge Strikes Down Mont. Law Barring Contraceptive Coverage for Low-Income Teens
On Friday, Montana District Judge James Reynolds ruled that a state law that denies birth control coverage for teens in a state health insurance program is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, the Helena Independent Record reports.

County Officials in Mont. Consider Refusing Title X Funds
Commissioners in Ravalli County, Mont., have raised concerns about accepting federal Title X family planning funding to provide family planning services at a county clinic and declined to sign a task order authorizing the nearly $39,000 contract, the Ravalli Republic reports.

Montana | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health in Montana.

Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State
State court challenge to a Montana law prohibiting coverage of prescription contraceptives under Montana's CHIP program, a component of the Healthy Montana Kids program.

Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State
State court challenge to two Montana laws: the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 2011 and the Parental Consent for Abortion Act of 2013.