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Montana judge blocks anti-abortion laws while a lawsuit is underway

A Yellowstone County district court judge has temporarily blocked three laws restricting abortion while a lawsuit is underway to decide whether they’re constitutional.

Judge Micheal Moses granted Planned Parenthood of Montana’s request for a preliminary injunction on the three laws late Thursday.

The laws, which the state’s Republican-majority Legislature passed last spring, ban abortions at 20 weeks, require providers to offer ultrasounds before an abortion and restrict access to medication abortions.

The laws were set to go into effect last Friday. Moses initially granted a temporary restraining order on the laws with a 10-day expiration date. The preliminary injunction goes further and will last the remainder of the case.

Planned Parenthood of Montana is arguing the laws violate the state constitution’s right to privacy, and will irreparably harm women’s access to abortion care. Republican state officials say the policies are important protective health measures.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.
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  • A Yellowstone County District Court judge late last week temporarily blocked three new laws that restrict access to abortion just hours before they were set to go into effect. Montana Public Radio's Shaylee Ragar talked with Montana Free Press's Mara Silvers and the Montana State News Bureau's Holly Michels about what happened and what's still up in the air.