Montana Parental Notification Measure, LR-120 (2012)
|Parental Notification Measure|
|State code:||41-1-405, 47-1-104, MCA. Repealing other sections|
|Referred by:||Montana State Legislature|
- 1 Aftermath
- 2 Election results
- 3 Text of measure
- 4 Support
- 5 Opposition
- 6 Lawsuit
- 7 Path to the ballot
- 8 Timeline
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Spurred on by the success of the measure, the Montana house began work on passing a bill that goes a step further than the measure and require parental consent before a minor could get an abortion. The bill, HB 391, requires that both parent and patient sign a notification form prepared by anti-abortion activists describing dangers of the procedure. It was transmitted to Gov. Steve Bullock (D) on April 15, 2013.
Opponents of the new bill say it is unconstitutional because it constitutes an invasion of the right of privacy spelled out by the courts. An identical referral of the bill was also prepared in the case of a veto by the governor.
Both HB 391 and LR-120 have been made the subject of a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Montana. That lawsuit is detailed here.
- See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
The following are unofficial election results:
Results are certified and final.
Official results via Montana Secretary of State.
Text of measure
The ballot language that voters saw read:
LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 120
AN ACT REFERRED BY THE LEGISLATURE
AN ACT REQUIRING PARENTAL NOTIFICATION PRIOR TO AN ABORTION FOR A MINOR; PROVIDING FOR A JUDICIAL WAIVER OF NOTIFICATION; PROVIDING PENALTIES; REPEALING PRIOR STATUTES RELATING TO PARENTAL NOTIFICATION; PROVIDING THAT THE PROPOSED ACT BE SUBMITTED TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF MONTANA; AMENDING SECTIONS 41-1-405 AND 47-1-104, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 50-20-201, 50-20-202, 50-20-203, 50-20-204, 50-20-205, 50-20-208, 50-20-209, 50-20-211, 50-20-212, AND 50-20-215, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
LR-120 prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor under 16 years of age unless a physician notifies a parent or legal guardian of the minor at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. Notice is not required if: (1) there is a medical emergency; (2) it is waived by a youth court in a sealed proceeding; or (3) it is waived by the parent or guardian. A person who performs an abortion in violation of the act, or who coerces a minor to have an abortion, is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.
 FOR requiring parental notification prior to abortion for a minor, providing for judicial waiver of notification, repealing prior statutes, and providing penalties. AGAINST requiring parental notification prior to abortion for a minor, providing for judicial waiver of notification, repealing prior statutes, and providing penalties.
The summary of the bill reads:
An act requiring parental notification prior to an abortion for a minor; providing for a judicial waiver of notification; providing penalties; repealing prior statutes relating to parental notification; providing that the proposed act be submitted to the qualified electors of Montana; amending sections 41-1-405 AND 47-1-104, MCA; repealing sections 50-20-201, 50-20-202, 50-20-203, 50-20-204, 50-20-205, 50-20-208, 50-20-209, 50-20-211, 50-20-212, and 50-20-215, MCA; and providing an effective date.
- Supporters argued that teenage girls are required by law to receive their parents permission for lesser medical decisions, like taking Tylenol at school or getting their ears pierced, so it makes sense that parents should be alerted before an abortion is performed.
- In speaking of the absence of a parental notification requirement, Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation, said, "From our perspective, this is a case where the government has placed itself squarely between parents and children, and prevented parents from protecting their children."
- Opponents countered that conflicts over ear piercing and pain medication do not create the level of fear and despair of teen pregnancy. Julianna Crowley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, said, "Young women don’t kill themselves because they have to ask a parent for a Tylenol."
- Opponents also argued that the measure is unnecessary. Planned Parenthood of Montana spokeswoman Stacey Anderson has cited the fact that of the 22 minors seeking abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics in Montana from 2011 to 2012, 21 of them told their parents they were having the procedure.
Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State of Montana
On May 30, 2013, Planned Parenthood of Montana filed a lawsuit with the state district court asking that LR-120 be overturned. Though the measure was passed by voters in 2012, the lawsuit was triggered by the passage of House Bill 391, a newer, stricter law that requires parental consent before minors can have an abortion. Planned Parenthood argued that these new laws put the health of minors at risk because not everyone can safely go to parents with these types of issues. Supporters of the new laws said that parental consent is already required for a host of other medical procedures, and abortion should be no different.
Path to the ballot
House of Representatives
The measure was first introduced to the Montana House of Representatives on March 18, 2011, and was referred to committee the same day. The House Judiciary Committee heard the bill on March 24, 2011, and voted to place the measure in front of the full chamber with a vote of 14 to 6 on March 25, 2011.
After being sent to the Senate, the proposal was first read and transported to committee on April 4, 2011. It was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, with amendments, on April 19, 2011 with a vote of 7 to 5. The full chamber voted in favor of the amended proposal on April 27, 2011, after three readings, with a vote of 65 to 35, sending it back to the Montana House of Representatives.
House vote on bill amendments
The House concurred the amendments made by the Senate on April 26, 2011, with a vote of 65 to 34. A third reading was scheduled for April 27, 2011, where the House voted in favor of the amended bill, with the final tally being 65 to 35. This placed the measure on the ballot, as it was filed with the Montana Secretary of State on May 2, 2011.
The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:
|Introduction||Mar. 18, 2011||Was first introduced to the Montana House of Representatives.|
|Hearing||Mar. 24, 2011||The House Judiciary Committee heard the bill.|
|Vote||Mar. 25, 2011||The House Judiciary Committee voted to place the measure in front of the full chamber, 14 to 6.|
|Approval||Mar. 30, 2011||Measure was passed by the House.|
|First Read||Apr. 4, 2011||The proposal was first read and transported to Senate committee.|
|Vote||Apr. 19, 2011||Passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, with amendments with a vote of 7 to 5.|
|Approval||Apr. 27, 2011||Senate approved bill, 65 to 35 , sending it back to House, where it was approved again.|
|Filing||May 2, 2011||Measure placed on ballot, filed with Montana Secretary of State.|
- The Western News, "Lawmakers show emotion on abortion issues," February 3, 2011
- Montana Legislature, "History of HB 627," accessed May 2, 2011
- Associated Press, "Measure mandates parental OK for teen abortions," February 26, 2013 (dead link)
- Montana Legislature, "House Bill No. 627," accessed May 6, 2011
- Ravalli Republic, "On the ballot: Should doctors notify parents before abortions?," October 12, 2012
- Associated Press, "Planned Parenthood files lawsuit over Montana parental consent law," May 30, 2013