How pending Supreme Court case could restrict Montana abortion access

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case in March that could ban access to abortion medication obtained by telemedicine and mail, which accounted for almost 19% of all abortions in Montana in 2023.

The case would also shorten the timeframe for in-person medication abortions from 10 weeks to seven weeks. In-person medication abortion accounted for 60% of abortions in Montana in 2023, according to data provided by the state’s three providers.

When Montana’s legislature passed a bill in 2021 that would have banned the use of telemedicine and mail for abortions, Planned Parenthood sued the state. The Montana Supreme Court temporarily blocked the law on the grounds that it violated the state constitution.

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Three years later, the case is still pending, and the temporary block is still in effect.

“Montana’s Constitution affords significantly broader protection than the federal constitution” when it comes to matters of privacy, such as medical decisions, Montana Supreme Court Justice Laurie McKinnon wrote in a 2023 opinion on a case in which the court unanimously ruled in favor of allowing advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortions.

Nevertheless, the case before the U.S. Supreme Court highlights the

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