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Minnesota Governor Walz Signs Reproductive Freedom Defense Act into Law

Bill protecting against out-of-state anti-abortion attacks enacted; UnRestrict Minnesota celebrates historic legislative session

April 27, 2023

Erin Hart, Communications Director

Saint Paul, Minn.—Following Senate passage on April 21, the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act has been signed into law today by Governor Tim Walz, establishing robust protections for people seeking, providing, and helping others get abortion care in Minnesota against legal attacks by out-of-state anti-abortion activists.

Representatives of UnRestrict Minnesota celebrated the signing and expressed gratitude to the governor and pro-reproductive-freedom legislators for their steadfastness in defending abortion rights and access throughout the 2023 legislative session.

“With the signing of this bill, Minnesota has made clear that the wave of attacks on abortion rights and access across the country ends at our state line,” said Megan Peterson, executive director of Gender Justice, a member of UnRestrict Minnesota.

“Our values simply are not compatible with those of the extremist politicians and activists behind the relentless attacks on reproductive freedom across the US, and we will not let them reach across state lines to threaten, harass, or punish anyone who seeks or provides abortion care here.

“The champions of reproductive freedom in our legislature and Governor Walz have made history this session, and they have dramatically elevated Minnesota’s leadership in the advancement and protection of reproductive health, rights, and justice.”

The Reproductive Freedom Defense Act will ensure that patients traveling to Minnesota for abortion care and the providers who serve them are protected from legal attacks and criminal penalties from anti-abortion extremists from other states. It will also prevent Minnesota’s law enforcement agencies and courts from being hijacked in service of laws that go against the values of the majority of Minnesotans who support equitable access to safe and legal abortion, and the guaranteed rights of all Minnesotans.

“This bill will enable me and others like me to offer the best available health care to our patients without the risk of being prosecuted for fulfilling our sworn duties,” said Dr. Laura Lara, a family medicine doctor in Minneapolis. “We are oathbound to provide quality care to our patients, and we’d like to be able to do so safely.”

“As threats to people’s ability to make their own decisions about their families and future mount in other states, we have the opportunity to clear them away in ours, and to lead the way toward a more just, humane, compassionate, and equitable future,” said Dr. Lara.

“I am grateful to Governor Walz and our lawmakers who support reproductive freedom for acting on this opportunity and making Minnesota a safer place for all who need and provide essential reproductive health care.”