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Knudsen doubles down on efforts to end abortion in Montana

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen

Montana’s Attorney General is doubling down on his argument that the state high court should strike down a legal precedent that protects access to abortion in Montana.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen argues Montana’s abortion access is “inextricably linked” to the now overturned Roe v. Wade precedent. He first asked the Montana Supreme Court to overturn the state’s 1999 Armstrong precedent earlier this year. That’s part of his defense against a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Montana challenging new restrictive abortion laws.

Knudsen filed a brief with the state court Tuesday, saying the overturning of Roe strengthens his argument that Montana’s protection for abortion access should also be struck down.

Montana Supreme Court justices found in the Armstrong decision more than two-decades ago that the state’s constitutional right to privacy protects a person’s right to make medical decisions free of government interference, including to access abortion.

The high court has not yet responded to Knudsen’s appeal.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing