Filed Date: April 10, 2023
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On April 10, 2023, Planned Parenthood of Montana and its Chief Medical Officer brought this lawsuit in a state trial court against the State of Montana to raise a pre-enforcement challenge against HB 721. The bill in question was passed by the Montana legislature and if in effect, it would ban dilation and evacuation, the most common and safest method for second-trimester abortions. If signed into law, HB 721 would subject providers to harsh penalties, including fines of up to $50,000 and 5-10 year prison sentences, and threatened to strip providers of their medical licenses for at least one year. At the time the lawsuit was filed, HB 721 was awaiting the Governor's signature, and once signed, it would go into effect immediately. Represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and private counsel, the plaintiffs argued that HB 721 violated the state constitution's fundamental right to privacy. Relying on the Montana Supreme Court's 1999 decision in Armstrong v. State, the plaintiffs alleged that the Montana Constitution protects a woman’s right of procreative autonomy, and that HB 721 violated that right without a compelling reason to do so. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.
On the same day the Complaint was filed, the plaintiffs also motioned for a temporary restraining order. Later that same day, Judge Kathy Seeley denied the motion as premature because the Governor had not yet signed the bill.
As of April 11, 2023, HB 721 has not yet been signed and the case is ongoing.
Michelle Wolk (4/11/2023)
Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:38 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: Montana
Filing Date: April 10, 2023
Case Ongoing: Yes
Planned Parenthood of Montana and its Chief Medical Officer
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: None Yet / None
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Content of Injunction:
Affected Sex or Gender: