Montana Judge Denies Planned Parenthood Request to Block Bill Banning Dismemberment Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 11, 2023   |   5:04PM   |   Helena, Montana

A Montana judge rejected a request Monday from the abortion chain Planned Parenthood to block a pro-life bill that has not even become law yet.

Helena First Judicial District Court Judge Kathy Seeley said she cannot block a law that does not exist, the Montana Free Press reports.

“No bill has been signed. Thus, no ‘law’ to enjoin today,” she wrote. “Denied as premature.”

The bill in question, state House Bill 721, would ban dismemberment abortions that kill nearly fully-formed second-trimester unborn babies by pulling them apart limb from limb while their heart is still beating and then removing their body in pieces from the womb.

On Friday, the pro-life bill passed the state legislature, but Gov. Greg Gianforte has not signed it yet.

Because the legislation would go into effect immediately and Gianforte, a pro-life Republican, is expected to sign it, Planned Parenthood of Montana argued that the judge should block the non-existent law, according to the report.

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“Banning one of the safest and most common methods of abortion will put lives at risk,” Planned Parenthood of Montana CEO Martha Fuller said in a statement about the lawsuit. “Providers should be able to use their medical training, judgment and expertise to provide the care that is best for each patient — without political interference or fear of criminal prosecution.”

Contrary to the abortion chain’s claims, the bill would save unborn babies’ lives and protect their mothers. The bill includes exceptions that allow abortions in cases when the mother’s life is at risk. Additionally, more than a dozen other states have had even stronger abortion bans in place for nearly a year now and no women have died as a result.

Responding to the lawsuit, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s Office accused the abortion industry of thinking itself entitled to special treatment from the judicial system.

“The Legislature and governor should be free to conduct the people’s work without the meddling of the courts. Planned Parenthood is not entitled to special treatment and must follow the same procedure as every other litigant. What’s next — Planned Parenthood bringing a lawsuit to stop the Legislature from considering any bill that touches the topic of abortion?” spokeswoman Emily Flower told the Montana Free Press.

Despite the judge’s rejection, Planned Parenthood of Montana leaders said they will not be deterred and demanded to know when the governor plans to sign the bill.

“The motion was simply denied as premature and we will renew it as soon as the governor takes action on the bill,” Fuller said, according to the AP.

Doctors and former abortionists confirm that second-trimester abortions using the D&E method, or dismemberment, are barbaric and unnecessary. Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB-GYN and former abortionist who later became pro-life, once described the D&E abortion as a “brutal procedure in which a living human being is torn to pieces.”

Republicans control the Montana Legislature. This spring, they also are considering legislation to ban late-term abortions, require abortion complications to be reported to the state and make clear that the state constitution does not include a right to abort unborn babies. Other bills would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions and require aborted babies’ bodies to be cremated or buried.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 1,675 abortions in 2020.