Montana’s abortion laws are far more liberal than those of its neighboring states. NARAL Pro-Choice America gives all states a grade
based on the permissiveness of their abortion requirements and regulations. Montana received an A- grade from the pro-choice group while Wyoming had a D+ rating, followed by F grades for Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Montana does not require physician counseling before a woman receives an abortion and does not have required waiting periods, according to the Guttmacher Institute
. North Dakota and Wyoming require no counseling or waiting period for women. Idaho and South Dakota both require a physician consultation and written consent, as well as a waiting period of 24 and 72 hours, respectively. The counseling provides a summary of the procedure, information about the fetus at its gestational age, and information on parenting resources and alternatives to abortion.
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In Montana, the physicians are required to notify a parent or legal guardian at least 48 hours before a minor, under age 16, can receive an abortion. Montana’s neighbors require parental consent prior to allowing abortion services for minors under age 18.
Montana lawmakers decided that state funds will generally be used for medically necessary abortions. All four of its neighbors allow state funds for abortion in the case of life endangerment, and three (Idaho, North Dakota and Wyoming) provide abortions at state expense in cases of rape or incest.
In Montana and Wyoming, there are no restrictions on abortion coverage mandated for private insurance or insurance coverage provided for public employees. Abortion services coverage through plans purchased on the health exchange are only available with the purchase of a separate rider by the participant. Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota allow plans to cover abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest unless a separate rider to the coverage is purchased.
Montana does not require that an abortion be performed only by a physician, although its neighbors do. All of these states, including Montana, ban partial birth abortions. They also provide legal protection to any individual or institution that wishes to refuse to provide abortion services.
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