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Reproductive Freedom Codification Act Passes Out of Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

UnRestrict Minnesota Applauds Advancement Of Bill To Remove Unconstitutional Anti-Abortion Restrictions From Minnesota Law

January 18, 2023

Erin Hart, Communications Director

Saint Paul, Minn.—After hearing testimony from pro-reproductive-freedom religious leaders, an abortion patient facing serious medical risks due to Minnesota’s abortion restrictions, abortion providers, and more, the Minnesota Senate Committee on Health and Human Services this morning passed the Reproductive Freedom Codification Act (HF 91/SF 70), which would repeal Minnesota’s harmful abortion restriction laws. UnRestrict Minnesota welcomed the bill’s advancement and renewed its calls for lawmakers to pass it into law.

“The restrictions being eliminated by this bill place untenable barriers to health care, as well as individuals’ moral autonomy, economic security, and well-being,” said Rabbi Debra Rappaport, co-chair of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association. “We believe our reproductive freedoms are integrally bound to our religious liberty; we are committed to advancing the goals of reproductive justice so every person can make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their body, health, and family.”

Dr. Nicole Chaisson, Associate Medical Director at Planned Parenthood North Central States, testified: “Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we have seen a 13 percent increase in patients coming from out of the region for abortion care, and a 40 percent increase in second trimester abortions. Repeal of these restrictive laws opens up the capacity within our state to help serve our patients by allowing all licensed clinicians to provide abortion care and allow more practices to integrate this care into their offices. Abortion is health care, after all.”

Minnesota’s Constitution guarantees a fundamental right to an abortion, yet Minnesota’s laws are littered with restrictions on abortion access that violate this fundamental right. These include the mandatory 24-hour waiting period for patients seeking abortion; the two-parent parental notification law for minors; the requirement that providers read patients a state-mandated script of misinformation about abortion; a ban on advance practice non-physician clinicians providing abortions; and more.

These medically unnecessary restrictions are designed to discourage pregnant people from exercising their right to abortion in Minnesota by intimidating them, subjecting them to delays, and increasing the costs of abortion. Although many of these restrictions were recently enjoined by a court as unconstitutional, they remain law in Minnesota. HF 91/SF 70 would repeal these laws once and for all, eliminating any confusion or ambiguity concerning Minnesota’s right to abortion.

HF 91/SF 70 will move to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. UnRestrict Minnesota expressed confidence that the bill, with the support of numerous medical associations and other experts—including the Minnesota Nurses Association, the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa—will be enacted into law, ensuring that abortion in Minnesota is not only a protected right under the law, but accessible, affordable, and safe for anyone who needs one.