Montana Supreme Court Rules Abortion Restrictions Unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court in Montana ruled yesterday that the state legislature had no valid grounds to enact a recent restriction on a woman’s right to abortion, since the law would, in no way, protect a woman’s health.

The court denounced the law banning physicians’ assistants from performing abortions because, “The legislature has no interest, much less a compelling one, to justify its interference with an individual’s fundamental privacy right to obtain a particular lawful medical procedure.”

The majority opinion in the case, Armstrong v. Montana, presents a strong legal defense of a woman’s right to chose. “Implicit in this right of procreative autonomy is a woman’s moral right and moral responsibility to decide, up to the point of fetal viability, what her pregnancy demands of her in the context of her individual values, her beliefs as to the sanctity of life and her personal situation,” said Justice James C. Nelson, writing for the court.


Reuters - October 28, 1999 and Armstrong v. Montana, No. 98-066 Oct. 26, 1999

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