Montana Court Strikes Down Ban On Birth Control Funding For Low-Income Teens

A state trial court in Montana struck down that state’s ban on prescription birth control coverage for teenage women covered by the state’s health insurance program for low-income young people. In his opinion striking down the law under “the right of privacy and the rights of persons not adults set forth in the Montana Constitution,” Judge James Reynolds explained that “[t]he state has failed to provide a compelling state reason for this exclusion . . . as the court determined and as the state itself declared: reducing teenage pregnancy (is) a compelling state interest.” This interest, however, is harmed, not helped, by a law hindering sexually active individuals’ access to birth control.