Helena MT - The ACLU of Montana, the National Women’s Law Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed an amicus brief in support of Planned Parenthood, in their case challenging four new laws attacking forced pregnancies. These laws were enacted during the 2021 legislation session and violate Montana’s constitutionally protected right to privacy.
The brief argues that the Montana Supreme Court in Armstrong v. State, which the Montana Attorney General now seeks to overturn, correctly held that “the explicit right to privacy in the Montana Constitution protects personal decision-making free from unwarranted government interference, including the right to choose abortion.” Moreover, the Armstrong holding is in alignment with the high court rulings of other states that also have explicit rights to privacy in their constitutions or strong traditions of protecting rights. Further, overruling Armstrong would threaten to unravel privacy protection beyond abortion.
The right to privacy protects often-marginalized individuals beyond the forced pregnancy context. In another recent case, transgender plaintiffs challenging a restriction on birth certificates asserted their right to privacy in their transgender status, their medical records, and their right to be free from state interference with medical decision-making. If the laws Planned Parenthood is challenging are found constitutional, and Armstrong v. State is overturned, the personal autonomy component of the right to privacy would be irreparably damaged to the detriment of all Montanans, and more so to already vulnerable communities.
“These laws are a clear and deliberate attempt by politicians to undermine and denigrate the Montana Constitution and attack its most vulnerable community members,” said Caitlin Borgmann ACLU of Montana Executive Director. “The overwhelming support of Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge by myriad organizations signifies the importance of what is at stake here.”
Along with the brief filed by the ACLU of Montana, the National Women’s Law Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights, three other briefs were filed in support of the Planned Parenthood case with over 25 signatories.
Link to Amicus Brief: https://www.aclumontana.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/da_21-05...