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Montana

Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

Montana allows women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care to obtain public funds for abortion where:  (1) the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself; (2) the procedure is medically necessary although the woman's life is not in danger; or (3) the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the woman states that she reported the crime to the proper authorities or the physician certifies that she is unable to report the assault for physical or psychological reasons.  Mont. Dep't of Public Health & Human Servs., Medicaid Recipient/Physician Abortion Certification, Form MA-037 (Aug. 1998); Mont. Dep't of Public Health & Human Servs., Medicaid Provider Manual, Physician Related Servs., 2.4-2.5 (Mar. 2008), at http://www.medicaidprovider.hhs.mt.gov/pdf/physician.pdf.

An unconstitutional and unenforceable regulation prohibits public funding for abortion unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman's life or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the woman states that she reported the crime to the proper authorities or the physician certifies that she is unable to report the crime for physical or psychological reasons.  Mont. Admin. R. 37.86.104(8)-(10).

A court held that this regulation violates the Montana constitution and that the agency exceeded its authority by issuing a regulation barring payment for a medically necessary service.  Jeannette R. v. Ellery, No. BDV-94-811 (Mont. Dist. Ct. May 22, 1995).


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