The following comes from a Feb. 3 story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
In the decision filed Tuesday afternoon, the state’s high court reversed a 2014 Lewis and Clark County District Court’s ruling that barred the state from defending the constitutionality of the 2011 Parental Notification Act and the 2013 Parental Consent Act.
The original suit challenging the two laws was filed in 2013 by Planned Parenthood of Montana and Dr. Paul Fredrick Henke. The case will now be sent back to Lewis and Clark County District Court for further proceedings.
In a statement sent Tuesday evening, Planned Parenthood of Montana called the laws harmful and unconstitutional.
“Make no mistake–this is not over,” said Martha Stahl, the group’s president. “We remain fully confident that these laws are not only bad health policy, but also clear violations of young Montana women’s constitutional rights.”
The Parental Notice of Abortion Act, or LR-120, was passed by Montana voters in 2012 and prohibited physicians from performing an abortion on a girl under the age of 16 without first giving notice to the minor’s parents.
In 2013, the Legislature passed the Parental Consent Act requiring a doctor to get a signed consent form from a parent or guardian before performing an abortion on a child under the age of 18.
Thirty-eight states require parental consent or notification before a minor can have an abortion.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said he was pleased with the ruling.
“More than 70 percent of Montana voters and a majority of legislators enacted the parental notification and parental consent laws,” said Fox in a prepared statement. “The will of the people has been made clear. Today’s ruling means we can move forward in vigorously defending the fundamental rights of parents to be involved in the decisions their children face….”