As the nation sees many states make laws restricting abortion, a lawsuit in Minnesota tries to do the exact opposite.
Gender Justice and the Lawyering Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of abortion rights advocates in the Ramsey County District Court where the plaintiffs are targeting laws which they deem restrictive. The lawsuit is targeting certain laws such as requiring a 24-hour waiting period and letting parents of patients under 18 known of the procedure. In addition, the lawsuit wants to eliminate the law requiring fetal remains to be cremated or buried.
“Minnesota abortion laws are not only outdated, but they are harmful. Far too often they prevent people from getting the care they need when they need it,” Gender Justice Executive Director Megan J. Peterson said.
WATCH: There is no gender justice without access to abortion. Today we stand with community partners Our Justice, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Family Tree Clinic, Spiral Collective, Whole Woman's Health, WE Health Clinic, HOTDISH Militia, UnRestrict Minnesota, and NCJW Minnesota as we announce the lawsuit and educational campaign to remove Minnesota’s unconstitutional anti-abortion laws. #UnRestrictMN
Posted by Gender Justice on Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Peterson went on to add that these laws serve no medical purpose and reflected “outdated, patriarchal views of women.”
The lawsuit cites the 1995 Doe v. Gomez case, where the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the state’s constitution allows for abortions in Minnesota and the right to decide to have an abortion without government interference.
“We know too well that women and people who can get pregnant can never be equal in society without having bodily autonomy and the ability to decide if, when, and how to become a parent,” Gender Justice said in a press release about the lawsuit.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s largest pro-life group, called the lawsuit “very extreme and far-reaching.”
“Women have a right to informed consent,” MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach said. “Parents should be notified when their minor children are undergoing abortion. Minnesotans should know about how abortion is practiced in our state. Yet the lawsuit seeks to undermine all of this.”
Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says this “lawsuit targets bipartisan, common-sense, pro-life laws that have been on the books in Minnesota for years.” In addition, he thinks this lawsuit is being filed by people who believe in late-term abortions.
Daudt is keeping a close eye on how Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison handles this lawsuit. Ellison identifies as a progressive who is pro-choice.
“Attorney General Ellison must put his personal ideology aside and defend the laws of our state – we will be watching closely to make sure his office mounts a credible defense against this outrageous attack on Minnesota’s pro-life laws,” Daudt said.
Ellison released a statement on the lawsuit:
I am also Minnesota’s chief legal officer. In that capacity, I have a duty to defend the constitutionality of Minnesota statutes and will do so in this case. We will review the complaint as soon as we are served, will evaluate our strategy, and will respond in due course.
A spokesperson for Tim Walz said that the governor was still reviewing the lawsuit, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 29,991 abortions occurred between 2015 and 2017.
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