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Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day 2023

February 21, 2023

Erin Hart, Communications Director

Saint Paul, Minn.—In the midst of a historic legislative session during which Minnesota’s first pro-reproductive freedom legislative majority passed the PRO Act and enshrined the right to abortion in Minnesota law, UnRestrict Minnesota and its partners today led hundreds of Minnesota citizens in a rally at the state Capitol rotunda, urging pro-reproductive freedom lawmakers to finish the job they started by passing legislation to repeal Minnesota’s unjust and unconstitutional anti-abortion laws, redirect state funding away from anti-abortion organizations, and protect patients and providers from legal attacks and criminal prosecution by out-of-state anti-abortion extremists.

The rally capped off UnRestrict Minnesota’s Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day, during which supporters met with their legislators to encourage their support of UnRestrict Minnesota’s legislative agenda, including the Reproductive Freedom Codification Act (HF 91/SF 70), which repeals unconstitutional restrictions on Minnesota’s right to abortion; the Positive Pregnancies Support Act (HF 289/ SF 336), which redirects state funding from anti-abortion organizations to support pregnant people regardless of their health care decisions; and the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (HF 366/ SF 165), which protects providers, citizens, and patients from legal attacks imposed by anti-abortion extremists in other states.

Following lawmaker meetings, hundreds gathered in the Capitol rotunda to hear from faith leaders, activists, legislators, and clinic workers about Minnesota’s historic opportunity to pass these critical bills and establish itself as a beacon of reproductive freedom and abortion rights in the nation post-Roe v. Wade.

“We won this majority because Minnesotans were clear: they want us to protect access to their reproductive freedom—no ifs, ands, or buts,” said Sen. Erin Murphy, a member of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus. “And the issues that we’re facing now as we take up these last two crucial pieces of legislation are all about people who need care and all about the people who provide that care. This is non-negotiable; we will not leave this session without completing this work.”

“The PRO Act was a really important first step, but we have to keep going,” added Megan Peterson, Executive Director of Gender Justice, a partner of UnRestrict Minnesota. “The Reproductive Freedom Codification Act is the critical second half of that bill—it is the PRO Act in application. We’re so glad you’re here today to really send the message to the majorities to follow through on their promise.”

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan also spoke at the rally, joining the call for lawmakers to fulfill their campaign promises and pass UnRestrict Minnesota’s legislative agenda.

“We are going to pass the Reproductive Freedom Codification Act, we are going to pass the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, we are going to continue to be an island of decency and humanity, and a north star for the rest of this country. But let me tell you, we will not stop with Minnesota, because there are people all over this country who need access to reproductive health care. We will not be done until every person in this country can make their own choices about their body and their health care.”