Montana Attorney General appeals preliminary injunction preventing three pro-life from taking effect

By Dave Andrusko

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is appealing a preliminary injunction issued by District Judge Michael Moses that halted the implementation of three pro-life laws passed overwhelmingly by the legislature and signed by pro-life Governor Greg Gianforte, the first Republican governor in 16 years. Judge Moses preliminary injunction “stops the laws from taking effect while a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Montana that seeks to overturn them progresses,” Holly Michels reported.

The laws were scheduled to go into effect October 1 “but Moses last week issued a temporary restraining order halting them for 10 days just hours before they would have been effective,” Michels explained.

House Bill 136—the Montana Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act–bans abortions performed on pain-capable unborn children who are 20 weeks gestational age. House Bill 140 offers the opportunity for abortion-minded women to view an ultrasound of their unborn child. HB171 requires informed consent for a woman undergoing chemical (or “medication”) abortions and have an in-person visit. It also prohibits women from accessing medication abortion through the mail and through telehealth.

In his order, Judge Moses wrote “(Planned Parenthood) and their patients will be irreparably harmed through the loss of their constitutional rights, thus the prevention of the status quo is necessary to prevent that harm.”

In a notice filed with the State Supreme Court seeking a reversal of Judge Moses’ decision, the department of justice said

Abortionists are not entitled to exemptions from commonsense protections for their patients. The state laws that Planned Parenthood is seeking to overturn require better medical care, but Planned Parenthood, a business that calls itself a “health” organization, is fighting to attempt to ensure that substandard regulations remain law. Women deserve health and safety; they don’t forfeit that when they consider having an abortion. 

When Judge Moses issued the preliminary junction, Attorney General spokesperson Emilee Cantrell said, “The order unfortunately deprives women and unborn children of commonsense health protections. It’s not surprising that Planned Parenthood is attacking our laws since no one benefits more from substandard health protections than abortionists and their businesses.”