Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit against Montana over New Abortion Restrictions
Montana’s Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop four new laws that could potentially restrict abortions in the state.
According to Fox News, the laws are scheduled to take effect on October 1. The laws would ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, restrict access to abortion pills and require abortion providers to ask pregnant women if they would like to view an ultrasound. One of the laws also prohibits insurance plans that cover abortion procedures from being offered on the federal exchange.
Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit this week in Yellowstone District Court, claiming the laws violate Montana’s constitution, which protects access to abortion before the fetus is viable or about 24 weeks gestation.
In its filing, Planned Parenthood of Montana also said that the laws reduce the number of locations where abortions are accessible.
“These laws are nothing more than poorly disguised attempts to chip away at Montanans’ access to safe and constitutional abortion,” the lawsuit says. “They will reduce the number and geographic distribution of locations in Montana where women can access safe and effective abortion care.”
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the laws into effect earlier this year.
The lawsuit names Montana Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
“I look forward to defending these clearly valid statutes and to protecting the lives of the unborn,” he said.
But Martha Stahl, president of Planned Parenthood of Montana, said the laws would negatively impact people living in rural areas, including low-income families and Native Americans.
Planned Parenthood of Montana operates five of the state’s seven clinics where abortions are available. At the Planned Parenthood clinics, 75 percent of abortions are done through medication rather than surgical procedures.
Stahl said the restrictive laws are trying to “outlaw” abortion “entirely,” and they limit a women’s ability to receive an abortion safely.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.