FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2022
Erin Hart, Communications Director
UnRestrict Minnesota applauds the MN House introduction of the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (HF 4900), by Representative Kelly Morrison (DFL-Minneapolis) and we are looking forward to the Senate companion on the way with Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Lakeville).
The law would protect patients who travel to Minnesota and the providers and any others who support and assist them to access abortion care, contraception, or other reproductive health care, by preventing Minnesota state agencies from enforcing or recognizing civil or criminal penalties imposed in another state. Further, the law would authorize those who have “had a judgment entered” against them in another state for receiving, providing or helping a person obtain reproductive health care services in Minnesota to sue for damages. Their legislation mirrors legislation being introduced across the country in a multistate effort to create states of refuge for those providing, assisting with, or seeking abortion care.
“As we look at the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade within weeks or even days, the time to act is now. Many patients in neighboring states and across the country will soon look to Minnesota to seek the essential healthcare they need, and our lawmakers need to protect patients and providers to ensure access”” stated Abena Abraham, Campaign Director of UnRestrict Minnesota.
Legislation seeking to criminalize those seeking, providing, or assisting with abortion care has been introduced in a growing number of states. In Missouri, the legislation would allow individuals to sue anyone helping a patient cross state lines for an abortion. And after Roe v. Wade is overturned, up to 26 states will immediately ban abortion, denying care to millions of people. This bill is modeled on legislation passed in Connecticut. With this introduction, Minnesota joins 11 states in total that have already or plan to introduce this type of legislation.
UnRestrict Minnesota is a multi-racial coalition of cross-sector organizations working to protect, expand, and destigmatize access to abortion care—and all reproductive healthcare—in Minnesota through public education, advocacy, and the law.