Montana’s state laws regarding abortion are considered more lenient than those of many other states throughout the country. The NARAL Pro-Choice America organization
, which issues grades for each state on access to abortion services and restrictions, gives Montana an A- for its limited involvement in abortion issues.
The Montana grade by NARAL puts the state alongside New York, which also received an A- for its few abortion restrictions, including no mandates for parental involvement or limitations on public funds for abortion
In contrast, states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, which have tighter controls on abortion procedures, received F grades from NARAL.
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The few restrictions Montana has on abortion include consent requirements for minors. The parent of a minor, under age 16, must be notified before an abortion procedure can take place, according to the Guttmacher Institute
A doctor is not required to notify a parent if the procedure is done under a medical emergency or the youth received permission through a court proceeding. However, these regulations have been challenged in the court system, according to FindLaw
Montana had stricter rules and more requirements for abortion, but these issues were brought before the court and were later considered unenforceable, NARAL noted. The laws had included requiring women to have counseling on abortion before the procedure and waiting at least 24 hours after receiving the information before the procedure could begin.
State-directed counseling and waiting periods are requirements in many states, such as
Pro-life measures in Montana allow any provider to refuse to offer abortion services without explanation and without any reprisals or repercussions.
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Montana allows public funding of abortion services for low-income women where the services are considered medically necessary, such as endangerment to the life of the mother, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
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