Abortion in Montana

Abortion is currently legal in the state of Montana, but there are some restrictions and considerations regarding accessing abortion services. This article provides an overview of the legality of abortion in Montana, the current laws and limitations, how to access services, and resources for support.

Legality of Abortion in Montana

Abortion legal until viability

In Montana, abortion is legal up until the point of fetal viability. Viability refers to the point in pregnancy when a fetus could potentially survive outside the womb with medical intervention. This point varies depending on each individual pregnancy, but generally occurs around 24 weeks gestation.

Before viability, pregnant individuals have the right to obtain an abortion for any reason in Montana. However, though legally allowed, some abortion providers may choose not to offer abortions past a certain point in pregnancy. It’s important to contact providers directly to understand limitations on services.

Definition of viability

More specifically, viability is defined as the point when a fetus has a reasonable chance for sustained life outside the womb with available neo-natal medical support. The exact timing differs in every pregnancy. A medical provider would assess fetal development to determine viability.

Determining viability

There are no set gestational dates in state laws dictating viability. Because viability varies, a physician ultimately makes the determination during the course of pregnancy care. They evaluate fetal development to conclude whether a fetus could potentially survive if delivered.

Restrictions after viability

After viability is reached, abortion is more strictly regulated in Montana. Elective abortions are restricted after viability unless certain health and life exceptions apply.

See also  Abortion in Washington

Exceptions after viability

The exceptions where abortion remains legal in Montana after viability include:

  • If continuing the pregnancy would put the pregnant patient’s life at risk
  • To prevent risk of substantial or irreversible physical health impairment

If a post-viability abortion is deemed medically necessary, services would still be accessible based on these health and life endangerment exceptions.

Accessing Abortion Services

There are some special considerations around accessing abortion care as a minor in Montana. However, abortions remain accessible both in state and out of state.

For minors

If the patient seeking an abortion is under 16 years old, parental notification is required beforehand in Montana. A parent or legal guardian must be informed.

Parental notification

If notifying a parent or guardian is not possible, the minor patient can pursue a judicial bypass. This involves getting a judge’s approval to waive the parental notification requirement confidentially through the court system.

Judicial bypass

With a judicial bypass, a minor can obtain court permission to consent to the abortion independently without parental sign off. The If/When/How Judicial Bypass Helpline provides assistance through this process.

Finding providers

There are abortion clinics located within Montana, as well as options to travel out of state. Our abortion provider search tool can help find the nearest location.

In state

Contact the clinics directly for information on gestational limits and appointment availability in Montana.

Out of state

Traveling out of state to states like Oregon, Washington or others may expand options for services.

Financial and Logistical Support

If needing help with funding, travel or coordination for an out of state abortion, there are national and regional organizations offering assistance. Types of help include:

See also  Abortion in Connecticut

Travel assistance

  • Transport to appointments
  • Gas money or mileage reimbursement
  • Help navigating travel logistics

Lodging assistance

  • Hotel stays
  • Housing for patients and support people

Childcare assistance

  • Childcare funding
  • Connecting patients to caregiver networks

Conclusion

Abortion remains legal in Montana, though there are some limitations, considerations, and restrictions outlined above. Understanding the current laws, who to contact for care, and what support is available makes accessing services more navigable. Additional resources are key for anyone seeking an abortion.

Summary of key points

Montana allows abortion up until viability, though some providers offer services only up to certain gestational dates. After viability, abortion is restricted apart from select health and life endangerment exceptions. People under 16 must notify parents or get judicial bypass. In or out of state providers remain options for care. Financial assistance for travel, lodging and more is available from various organizations.

Additional resources

  • If/When/How Judicial Bypass Helpline
  • NAF Hotline
  • Abortion Finder
  • National Network of Abortion Funds

FAQs

How late can you get an abortion in Montana?

Abortion is legal in Montana until the point of viability. There is no set viability date, so it varies per pregnancy at medical discretion. Overall most providers offer services up to 12-18 weeks. Some go longer under 20 weeks. Check directly with clinics for gestational limitations.

Does Montana require a waiting period for an abortion?

No. Montana does not impose a mandatory waiting period for abortion. You can schedule the initial consultation and procedure without added delay between visits.

Do you have to be a Montana resident to get an abortion there?

See also  Abortion in New Hampshire

No, you do not need to show Montana residency or proof of local address to access an abortion there. Abortion services are available for anyone, local residents and visitors alike.

Does insurance cover abortion in Montana?

Coverage depends on the insurance provider. Montana does allow abortion coverage through plans on the state’s health insurance exchange. Many private insurers do provide abortion benefits as well in accordance with state policy. Check with your insurance provider directly to understand your coverage details.

Are medical abortions (abortion pill) allowed in Montana?

Yes. Both surgical abortion procedures as well as medication/medical abortions (abortion pill) are allowed in Montana. Abortion providers in the state offer both formats of care depending on patient choice and pregnancy timing. Early abortions can often be completed through the abortion pill.

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