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Does Minnesota’s Constitution protect abortion rights?


“We can think of few decisions more intimate, personal, and profound than a [Minnesotan’s] decision between childbirth and abortion. Indeed, this decision is of such great import that it governs whether the [person] will create lifelong attachments and responsibilities. We therefore conclude that the right of privacy under the Minnesota Constitution encompasses a woman’s right to decide to terminate her pregnancy.”

In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court found that our state constitution protects not only our right to have an abortion, but also protects our right to decide to have an abortion. This means that abortion is legal in Minnesota, and that the government should not try to sway in favor of one pregnancy outcome over another. The court rightly recognized that these decisions belong to Minnesotans, NOT the government. However, anti-abortion politicians in Minnesota have quietly passed laws that infringe on our rights, including laws that mandate doctors give medically irrelevant and biased information to Minnesotans before they can have an abortion. Several of the anti-abortion laws on the books restrict our freedoms, reduce access to health care, and are meant to punish, shame, and pressure people who choose/decide to get an abortion.

These laws do not exist for any other type of health care.