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Montana Abortion Laws

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Montana prohibits most abortions after viability. Although Montana enacted a "pain-capable" abortion ban (defined as after 20 weeks of pregnancy), a court has temporarily blocked enforcement of that law. This area of the law is highly fluid.

Montana Viability Law

Montana bans partial-birth abortions after a fetus has become "viable."

Other Montana Laws Pertaining to Abortion and Unborn Fetuses

  • A person commits an offense if he “purposefully, knowingly, or negligently causes the death of a premature infant born alive, if such infant is viable.”
  • The state allows a wrongful death action when a viable unborn child is killed through negligent or criminal act.
  • The state has created a specific affirmative duty of physicians to provide medical care and treatment to infants born alive at any stage of development.
  • Montana has a safe haven law, establishing a safe haven for mothers to legally leave their infants at designated places and ensuring the infants receive appropriate care and protection.

The basic provisions of Montana's abortion laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Reproductive Rights section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 50-20-101 to 112; 50-20-401; 50-20-201 et seq., 50-20-601 et seq.
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

Unlawful on viable unborn child) unless it is necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother

Partial Birth Abortion: Unlawful except to save the life of mother when endangered by physical disorder, illness, or injury when no other medical procedure would save the woman's life.

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Legal to abort an unborn child before viability; after viability, only if necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Felony, fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment up to 5 years, or both (mother cannot be prosecuted)

Consent Requirements 24-hour notice and informed consent
Residency Requirements for Patients N/A

Note: Montana abortion laws are constantly changing — contact a Montana constitutional law attorney , or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Montana Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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