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BILLINGS, MT — Today, Planned Parenthood of Montana and its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Samuel Dickman filed a lawsuit in Montana state court to challenge H.B. 721, a bill banning D&E procedures, the safest and most common method of abortion after approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ban, set to take effect immediately once signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte, threatens medical providers with a fine of up to $50,000 and ten years in prison just for doing their jobs. 

The lawsuit argues that H.B. 721 violates the Montana Constitution, which as the Montana Supreme Court held more than two decades ago in the Armstrong decision protects Montanans' right to privacy and access to pre-viability abortions. The suit asks the court to intervene before the ban is allowed to take effect. 

​​Statement from Martha Fuller, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Montana:

“Despite our state constitution clearly protecting the right to abortion and Montanans' consistent calls for bodily autonomy and personal freedom, our lawmakers remain hell-bent on banning abortion method by method, law by law. Banning one of the safest and most common methods of abortion will put lives at risk. Every person’s circumstance is different and every pregnancy is unique. Providers should be able to use their medical training, judgment, and expertise to provide the care that is best for each patient — without political interference or fear of criminal prosecution. H.B. 721 may pit Montana politicians’ agenda against patients’ safety and well-being, but evidence, facts, and the rule of law are on our side. Montanans deserve better and Planned Parenthood of Montana is committed to fighting this ban every step of the way.” 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“H.B. 721 makes patients less safe by placing Montanans’ health and future in the hands of politicians. In state after state, the strategy of abortion opponents has been clear: create barriers to care that push patients later into pregnancy, then ban the only options still available to them at that point. Should this law take effect, thousands of Montanans and people across the region who have already been forced to come to the state for essential abortion care, will suffer. Planned Parenthood will not back down as politicians systematically strip us of our fundamental rights and freedoms.” 

H.B. 721 is a gross violation of the provider-patient relationship, which should never be subject to political interference. Medical experts like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly oppose these measures, which ban a very safe method of abortion that is standard practice. Montana is a key access point for abortion in the region where surrounding states have banned this essential health care entirely. While abortion rights are currently protected, the Montana state legislature has repeatedly attacked reproductive freedom and continues to do so. During this legislative session alone, anti-abortion rights politicians have introduced more than a dozen anti-abortion bills, most of which continue to advance. 

Any time health care is restricted, people suffer. These politically motivated abortion restrictions have devastating real-life consequences. Like all abortion restrictions, this bill is a discriminatory attack on Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, and those living in rural areas — the same people who already face systemic barriers to accessing health care.

Planned Parenthood of Montana is represented by attorneys at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, WilmerHale, and the Graybill Law Firm.

A link to the complaint can be found here and the TRO brief here.


Planned Parenthood of Montana (PPMT) is a leading statewide organization that provides the full range of reproductive health care services, including birth control and abortion, life-saving cancer screenings, STI and HIV prevention, trans health care, testing and treatment for STIs, breast health services, Pap tests, sexual health education, and mental health counseling. PPMT’s mission is to lead by providing, promoting, and protecting sexual and reproductive health care and education for all Montanans.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.


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