This past week, we filed an amicus brief in support of Planned Parenthood of Montana in a lawsuit challenging four harmful laws that together would:
Ban abortion after twenty weeks;
Prohibit state health insurance plans sold through the federal exchange from including abortion coverage; and impose a multitude of medically unnecessary restrictions that serve no purpose other than to force pregnant people to make multiple unnecessary trips to access care that is extremely safe and straightforward.
Our amicus brief focused on the impact of medically unnecessary restrictions on access to abortion care on survivors of intimate partner violence, especially on survivors of color. The State's argument that the restrictions at issue are somehow beneficial for pregnant people frankly does not pass the straight face test.
Currently, there is an injunction in place preventing these laws from taking effect. If the Montana Supreme Court were to lift the injunction, these restrictions will only strengthen the control that perpetrators of intimate partner violence are able to exert over survivors. As we explained in our brief, "Added barriers to abortion will force a significant number of pregnant people to carry their pregnancies to term against their will, at great risk to their lives and health."
We share our utmost gratitude to all who helped pull this together: Lauren Stanier, Amanda Beane, Hannah Parman, Mathew Gordon, Susan Koenig, and June Starr at Perkins Coie; Grace Huang, Director of Policy at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Robin Turner at Turner Strategies, PLLC; and Kelsen Young at the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
And to the organizations who signed on, having a strong interest in ensuring that survivors of intimate partner violence have full access to reproductive health options, including abortion:
The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Custer Network Against Domestic Abuse
The District 4 Human Resources Development Council
Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Network to End Domestic Violence
Richland County Coalition Against Domestic Violence
SAFE in the Bitterroot
Sanders County Coalition for Families
Sexual Assault Counseling Center
Ujima, Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
Victim-Witness Assistance for Services
The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The YWCA of Great Falls
The YWCA of Missoula