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HF 91/SF 70 Passes Out of House Health Finance and Policy Committee

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

January 12, 2023

Erin Hart, Communications Director

Saint Paul, Minn.—Following impassioned testimony by an abortion patient previously subjected to Minnesota’s unconstitutional anti-abortion laws — plus representatives of abortion providers, abortion funds, and more — a bill (HF 91/SF 70) to remove the laws from Minnesota’s legislative code has passed out of the Minnesota House Health Finance and Policy Committee. UnRestrict Minnesota applauded the bill’s advancement and renewed its calls for lawmakers to pass it into law.

“Minnesotans need laws that promote—not prevent—access to reproductive healthcare,” Devorah Juda, a registered nurse and women’s health nurse practitioner, told the committee.

“Minnesotans need you to pass HF 91—but so do people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Because in the wake of Roe v. Wade getting overturned, people from these states and from all over this country are coming to Minnesota for reproductive healthcare. Please pass HF 91 so that abortion is more than just legal in Minnesota, it’s also free from unconstitutional barriers.”

Shayla Walker, executive director of the reproductive justice advocacy organization and abortion fund Our Justice said:

“No one should have to be an expert in Minnesota law to obtain essential health care, And no one should have to petition a court or this legislature to protect them from laws that violate rights our state constitution is supposed to guarantee.

“What we have before us is an opportunity to strengthen our constitution by rejecting and removing these unjust laws that have for too long weakened its protections.

“It is an opportunity to begin restoring the promise of reproductive justice by repairing the conditions in our communities, clearing the way for more people to determine their own reproductive destiny, and making abortion care more safe, more affordable, and more accessible.”

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 would repeal these laws once and for all, eliminating any confusion or ambiguity concerning Minnesota’s right to abortion.

HF 91 will move to the House Judiciary Committee. 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.