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With Abortion Ruling Imminent, Potential Scenarios Play Out in MN


Wednesday, June 22, 2022   

In the coming days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could remove longstanding federal abortion protections. In Minnesota, preparations are being made to accept patients from other states, but political races muddy the future here.

Should the nation's high court overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the procedure still would be legal in Minnesota, but it would automatically be banned in neighboring South Dakota - and soon after, in North Dakota.

Regional Planned Parenthood President Sarah Stoesz said they're adding Minnesota staff, and they've stopped new appointments in an at least one state and are assisting those individuals with care options elsewhere.

"It is on us to make sure that we are good neighbors to those around us," she said, "and that we are able to welcome women into our state so that they can be cared for."

DFL state Attorney General Keith Ellison also vowed to uphold Minnesota's current protections and not prosecute anyone who travels here for an abortion. However, some Republicans, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen, have said they want to add Minnesota to the list of states with bans. It comes as Republicans seek to gain more control of state government in the fall election.

It's not certain yet how far Jensen might go in trying to restrict abortion access should he become governor. But Emma Piorier, Alliance for a Better Minnesota communications director, said the comments he's offered so far have supporters of reproductive rights worried.

"This kind of extreme, anti-choice agenda that is being pushed by Minnesota Republicans," she said, "not only is out of touch with the needs and wants of Minnesotans, but is potentially extremely dangerous for the rights of our citizens."

In a recent statewide poll, 65% of Minnesotans said they oppose new, severe restrictions on abortion. Citing his Christian faith, Jensen has said the state should be governed with a pro-life approach.

Disclosure: Alliance for a Better Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Consumer Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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