Montana Supreme Court hears legal challenge to law requiring parental consent for abortion

On March 6, the Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in more than a decade of cases on the state’s Parental Consent for Abortion Act (HB 391) as well as a voter-approved referendum from 2012 regarding parental notification when a minor under 16 asked for an abortion. The law is set to take effect without the signature of Gov. Steve Bullock, but did not, due to an immediate lawsuit from Planned Parenthood of Montana. Planned Parenthood of Montana also challenged the voter-approved referendum.

Designed to protect

Under the parental consent law, girls in the state under the age of 18 must have written consent from their parent or legal guardian to undergo an abortion. Exceptions will be granted in a medical emergency or if the minor is successful in petitioning the court to waive the requirement (known as “judicial bypass”). The case is moving through the state judicial system, and the final decision on it was handed down by District Judge Chris Abbott, who found the law invalid, arguing that it would violate the right to privacy in the Montana Constitution.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen appealed Abbott’s decision. Deputy Solicitor General Brent Mead told state Supreme Court justices last week that Abbott should review the law differently because the Montana Constitution gives the state more authority to make laws that affect rights of minors. He said, the decision of the Supreme Court in 1999 on Armstrong v. Statewhich states that abortion is covered by the state constitutional right to privacy does not apply to this law.

“Under Article 2, Section 15, the rights of a minor may be violated if the law is designed to protect them,” said Mead. “And in this case, the whole of Article 2, Section 10 – the right to privacy – does not apply because the law is designed to protect them from that protected interest.”

Planned Parenthood argued that Abbott used the correct standard in deciding the case because the state, it said, had to point to a legitimate risk to the health or safety of minors.

Failed victims of abuse

Parental consent for abortion protects minors from forced abortions and can help rescue them from abusive situations. Live Action’s Aiding Abusers investigation found that Planned Parenthood employees at seven facilities in different states were helping actors posing as sex traffickers by advising them on how to get their victims tested for STIs, the best way to abort them, and how to lie on forms. about the age of their victims.

The investigation also revealed real cases where Planned Parenthood helped child rapists. A man, Sage Robert Lanza, sexually abused a 14-year-old girl, whom he recruited for an abortion at Planned Parenthood under duress. He drove her to the appointment where the abortion was performed, and returned the victim to her abuser. Planned Parenthood is a mandated reporter of abuse and, therefore, must contact authorities, but arrest records indicate that Planned Parenthood failed to do so.

Planned Parenthood also failed to report the rape of a 15-year-old after a staff member said it was “not worth the hassle” to contact authorities.

In addition, a 2014 study on sex trafficking published by Loyola University Chicago’s Beazley Institute documented how traffickers often force their victims to have abortions so they can quickly return to work. As previously noted by Live Action News, the report found that victims had “significant contact with clinical treatment facilities, most commonly Planned Parenthood.” In fact, Planned Parenthood is the top most visited facility for trafficking victims, second only to hospital emergency rooms.

In December, Planned Parenthood in Kansas City was caught on video helping an undercover adult reporter attempt to traffic a 13-year-old girl across state lines for an abortion. Missouri law states that those 13 and under cannot consent to sexual intercourse with anyone. In addition, Missouri law states that no minor can consent to an abortion. In Kansas, where Planned Parenthood sends girls for abortions, the age is consent is 16, and parental consent is needed for a minor to undergo an abortion.

Minors and ‘privacy rights’

This is how parental consent laws protect minors.

Mead made a comparative argument before the magistrates. “We prohibit minors from fully exercising the fundamental right to privacy, as applied to the intimate choice to marry if they are under 16,” she said, citing state law that says girls in under the age of 16 cannot get marriedand the law stating minors under 16 years of age are incapable of sexual consent.

If a minor girl under the age of 16 seeks an abortion, the abortion business must immediately report it as sexual abuse. However, history shows that Planned Parenthood has repeatedly failed to protect girls.

DOJ puts a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30 seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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