Today Planned Parenthood of Montana filed a lawsuit challenging two state laws that illegally infringe upon minors' reproductive freedom and personal bodily autonomy.
The first law, passed by voters in a referendum last fall requires minors to notify their parents before having an abortion. The second, passed by legislators during the 2013 session requires minors to have parental consent to have an abortion. Even with judicial bypass procedures, these laws clearly violate these young women's constitutional rights, and the ACLU of Montana is confident that Planned Parenthood will prevail.
A previous version of the parental notification law was declared unconstitutional by Montana courts in 1995.
Along with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of Montana and other members of the Montana Reproductive Rights Coalition (NARAL-Pro-Choice Montana, the Montana Human Rights Network, Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Blue Mountain Clinic) opposed the referendum and the law passed this past session. Neither does anything to improve communication between parents and their daughters. What they do is place young women's emotional and physical safety at risk.
"As a leading women’s health care provider, educator and advocate in Montana, Planned Parenthood is committed to supporting parents in their critical role as the primary sexuality educators of their own children," said Stacey Anderson, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Montana. "Laws like this can’t force teens to talk to their parents, and the sad truth is some teens live in dangerous homes and can’t go to their parents. This law could come between these young women and the health care they need."