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UnRestrict Minnesota Celebrates Introduction Of Bill Supporting Full Range of Reproductive Health Options And Stopping Harm Caused By Fake Abortion Clinics

January 17, 2023

Erin Hart, Communications Director

Saint Paul, Minn.—Following the introduction of the Positive Pregnancies Support Act in the House last week by Minnesota Representative Liz Olson, and the Senate companion today by Senator Mary Kunesh, UnRestrict Minnesota applauds the effort to reverse the harm caused by a Minnesota law allowing state dollars to support fake clinics and deceptive practices aimed at discouraging people from obtaining abortion care.

The new bill would reform the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Act, a Minnesota law that enables state funding of so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers — fake clinics that use misinformation, deception, and coercion to try to prevent people seeking to end a pregnancy from getting abortion care.

By contrast, the Positive Pregnancies Support Act introduced in the Senate today would expand the information, services, and resources available to pregnant people through state-funded pregnancy support programs; require all state-funded services offered to pregnant people in Minnesota to be medically accurate and delivered by an appropriate professional; lift a gag rule preventing state funding from going to organizations that have connections to abortion providers; and eliminate language requiring grantees to attempt to influence the decisions of the pregnant people who come to them seeking counsel and care.

“Pregnant people facing difficult questions, decisions, challenges, and even crises need access to a full range of accurate information about their options, not the lies and coercion pushed by fake clinics run by anti-abortion activists,” said Abena Abraham, campaign director for UnRestrict Minnesota.

“For too long, Minnesota law shamefully supported these fake clinics with our tax dollars, and harmed countless Minnesotans in the process. It’s time for our lawmakers to put a stop to the deception and support the complete and truthful counseling pregnant people really need.”

A recent study found that fake abortion clinics outnumber real ones in Minnesota 11 to 1. In Minnesota, these fake clinics were found to make false claims about abortion at twice the rate of other states, and even promote “abortion pill reversal” — an untested medical procedure that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists called “unethical” and “not based in science.” In fact, the only study of the procedure ever done was halted halfway through because a quarter of the study’s patients were hospitalized for severe bleeding. Fake clinics also engage in unregulated surveillance of their patients; a terrifying prospect as the criminalization of abortion continues to spread nationwide.

Right now, these so-called clinics receive over $3 million dollars annually from the state to engage in this dangerous behavior — despite the fact that taxpayer support for their practices violates a Minnesota Supreme Court decision ruling that the state cannot preference one pregnancy outcome over another.

The Positive Pregnancies Support Act would stop these organizations from receiving taxpayer money and ensure that money instead goes to evidence-based care and support services.

“This bill would make the reforms necessary to fulfill the stated intentions of a critical program aimed at helping pregnant people get the full range of information and resources they need to make the decisions that are right for them,” said Abraham.

“Minnesotans want the state’s reproductive health laws and policies to be rooted in evidence and to promote equal access, not to impose anyone’s political views. Advancing the Positive Pregnancies Support Act is another important way of bringing Minnesota’s reproductive health laws and policies into line with the values of the people of this state.”