Planned Parenthood Sues to Block Montana Parental Consent, Notification Laws


Planned Parenthood of Montana filed suit in district court Thursday in an effort to block new parental consent restrictions on minors needing abortion care, and to overturn a different parental notification law as well.

The first of the laws challenged requires parental permission for anyone under age 18 before terminating a pregnancy, while the second piece of legislation, a parental notification law approved by voters as a ballot initiative last year, requires that the parents of anyone under 16 be notified prior to a pregnancy termination.

Montana Planned Parenthood Director of Public Affairs Stacey Anderson said the lawsuit is necessary to protect the health of teenagers in the state. “Laws like these can’t force teens to talk to their parents, and the sad truth is some teems live in dangerous homes and can’t go to their parents,” Anderson said in a statement.

The lawsuit will test the limits of a Montana Supreme Court ruling that struck a 1995 parental consent bill, ruling that the state constitution’s right-to-privacy provisions give women the right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. That earlier parental consent law did not have any judicial bypass provision allowing minors to forge parental consent in lieu of permission from a judge. The parental consent measure passed this legislative session has a judicial bypass procedure.

The outcome of the lawsuit will determine the scope of what, if any, restrictions for minors seeking abortion care will exist in the state. The parental consent law has not yet been implemented, but the notification statute is in effect. The consent law is designed repeal the less-stringent notification law, but should the court block the consent law then the notification statute would remain in place. The lawsuit challenges both statutes, so it is possible, though less likely, that the court could block both laws.

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  • Jonathan Kuperberg

    Consent measure is one thing, but challenging a parental notification measure which enjoys massive public support just shows Planned Anti-Parenthood are parental rights hating liberal extremists like their UK equivalent, the (Anti-)Family Planning Association.

    • HeilMary1

      And you are pro-pedophile priests and pro-MAIMED and MURDERED mothers. How about wife, bishop, parishioner, constituent and sex-offender registry notification for ALL Viagra prescriptions. Viagra notification will produce millions of red faces, divorces, resignations from office and ARRESTS of pedophile priests returning from their Viagra vacations in Catholic-ruined Manila.

      • Jonathan Kuperberg

        I don’t support child abuse (it’s the biggest stain on the Catholic Church since many collaborated with fascists in the first half of the last century- I just deplore liberals who mention it every time a Catholic speaks, as if they are *all* at it, that’s just as bigoted as bashing all Jews for the Israeli government’s actions or all Muslims for Boston and London last week.)

        And I certainly don’t support policies that kill women.

        • HeilMary1

          Your opposition to effective family planning most definitely kills millions of women every year. We liberals bring up fascists because your anti-contraception fascist cult supported fascist dictators specifically to punish unions, feminists, non-Catholics, the disabled, intersex gays, etc.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I am PRO-contraception, and anti-abortion *except* to protect the life of the mother, which must come before the life of the embryo/fetus. But if both could live, this is better! I am also not Catholic. I simply defend people with pro-family views from bigotry. So if you start piping up about “pedophiles” in a thread on Catholicism I will reply that not all Catholics, nor all priests, are pedophiles. Can you not see the similarity to the bigots who will bring up terrorism and jihad every time a Muslim is mentioned? implying all Muslims are violent, which is not true?

            The number of women who die because they are denied a lifesaving abortion (like the Beatriz case) is an abuse of human rights and must be rectified.It is nothing like “millions” though.