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Mazurek v. Armstrong (1997)

In Brief

Mazurek v. Armstrong (1997): Court upholds law requiring abortions to be done by licensed physicians

The Montana legislature passed a law requiring that abortions be performed by licensed physicians only.

A group of abortion doctors and one physician assistant filed suit claiming the law was unconstitutional and seeking a preliminary injunction. The District Court ruled that the plaintiffs' claim was not likely to succeed. On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that the law could be found unconstitutional if its purpose was to create a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions.

The Supreme Court disagreed, citing a previous case (Planned Parenthood v. Casey) in which it ruled that requiring a physician to provide abortion information to patients did not interfere with the right to abortion. The Court also stated that, even if the Montana law was passed with the purpose to interfere with the abortion right, the law would not be unconstitutional unless it had that effect.

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