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Montana AG fights to lift 9-year-old injunction against parental consent law  

by | Apr 26, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Back in February, we wrote about “Court debate over new and old pro-life laws heats up in Montana.” In short, the state argued, after nearly nine years it was time to “lift the preliminary injunction on a state abortion law that turned out to be anything but temporary,” Valerie Richardson reported for the Washington Times.

On Monday, Attorney General Austin Knudsen tried again only more vigorously.

“In a strongly worded motion, Mr. Knudsen said that House Bill 391, a 2013 law that requires parental consent before a minor may undergo an abortion, ‘must be allowed to take effect immediately. Not next week. Not on or after June 10, 2022. Today,’” Richardson wrote. 

“The State moves to dissolve the preliminary injunction in this case,” said the April 20 motion. “It’s been 3,181 days since the consent injunction was entered. That’s eight years, eight-and-a-half months, or 104.5 months, or 34.8 trimesters since the State agreed to a preliminary injunction because it was confident the case would be decided quickly.”

House Bill 391 passed both houses of the legislature, albeit without the signature of pro-abortion Steve Bullock, who was then governor.

Richardson wrote, “The battle to spring the years-old law from ‘judicial purgatory’ comes with a host of other Republican-backed abortion laws hamstrung by Montana state courts.”

 Most recently there was a preliminary injunction against three 2021 pro-life law. The three laws that Yellowstone County District Court Judge Michael Moses preliminarily enjoined last October  included a prohibition 

On abortions in most cases after 20 weeks, known as a “pain-capable” provision; require abortion providers to offer ultrasounds to patients, and ban chemical abortion-inducing medications from being dispensed via mail and without a medical examination.

Knudsen has sought to vacate the order, saying the measures “protect the health and safety of women who are considering or seeking an abortion,” Richardson wrote.

Judge Moses said that the laws pose “irreparable harm” to the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. 

Categories: State Legislation
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