Jun 24, 2022 - News

What the Supreme Court's abortion ruling means for Minnesota

Photo illustration of abortion protest signs representing opposing sides in front of the US Supreme Court

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Abortion will remain legal in Minnesota for the foreseeable future following the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, but the decision is expected to increase demand for the procedure from out-of-state patients.

What SCOTUS said: The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, issued Friday morning, effectively ends all federal protections on abortion.

  • "The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 ruling.

The big picture: While Minnesota is not one of the 16 states that have passed laws explicitly legalizing abortion, the procedure is protected under a 1995 state Supreme Court ruling in the case Doe v. Gomez.

  • That ruling established a right to abortion under the Minnesota Constitution that experts view as even stronger than the previous federal protections.

Yes, but: A number of Minnesota's neighboring states are expected to ban or further limit access to abortion in the wake of today's ruling. North Dakota and South Dakota have "trigger" laws that automatically outlaw the procedure.

Politicians and groups that oppose legal abortion, meanwhile, have vowed to continue efforts to further regulate and reduce abortions in Minnesota.

Between the lines: Some providers warn that the increase in demand, combined with existing health care worker shortages, could make it more difficult for Minnesotans to obtain an abortion as well.

What they're saying: Even though the state of abortion won't substantively change locally, the ruling was met with strong reactions from Minnesotans on both sides of the issue.

  • Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life executive director Scott Fischbach celebrated the decision as a "monumental victory for unborn children and their mothers and a big step for inclusion and equality under the law."
  • Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, issued a statement condemning the ruling as "an unconscionable rollback of fundamental rights for all people in the United States."

Of note: Minnesota law does include a number of provisions restricting abortion, including a 24-hour waiting period and a parental notification requirement for patients under 18.

What's next: Expect the issue to become a major theme of contested races for governor, Congress and seats in the divided state Legislature.

More coverage from Axios: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade


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