[JURIST] The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a decision granting summary judgment to Planned Parenthood in a case challenging two Montana abortion parental consent laws, ordering further proceedings. Planned Parenthood challenged these laws based on the concept of issue preclusion after the Montana courts decided that a similar law was unconstitutional in 1999. The trial court granted Planned Parenthood summary judgment, agreeing that issue preclusion kept the state from defending the new laws. The two laws, passed by voter referendum, stated that doctors had to notify and receive consent in order to perform an abortion on a minor. These laws were similar to the law declared unconstitutional in 1999, which required doctors to give parents notification before performing an abortion on a minor. The Montana Supreme Court rejected the argument of issue preclusion and remanded the case for trial.
Reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder] have been a controversial issue throughout the US for many years now. Last month a federal appeals court heard [JURIST report] arguments on Texas abortion laws. In December the US Supreme Court declined [JURIST report] to review an injunction on Arizona abortion laws viewed as among the strictest abortion laws in the country. In October an Oklahoma judge allowed [JURIST report] a law banning abortion pills to take effect. In August a Louisiana abortion clinic challenged [JURIST report] a new state law that requires doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, which would likely force clinics to shut down.