Apr 21, 2023 - Politics

Minnesota Senate to take up abortion, transgender care shield laws

Illustration of the Minnesota State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A pair of bills aimed at shielding patients who travel to Minnesota to seek abortions or gender-affirming care from legal action back home are poised to clear one of the final steps before becoming law.

What's happening: The legislation is scheduled for a vote during today's Senate floor session. Both cleared the DFL-majority House on largely party-line votes.

The big picture: Minnesota is home to one of a number of Democratic-controlled Legislatures moving to counter efforts by GOP lawmakers in other states to ban or limit gender-affirming care for minors and restrict abortion rights more broadly.

What they're saying: Supporters of the so-called refuge measures, which prohibit enforcement of laws, subpoenas and extradition requests from other states related to legal care received here, say the changes will protect patients and providers.

The other side: Republicans have raised concerns about patient safety, parental rights and the prospect of making Minnesota a "destination" for people looking to skirt their own state laws.

Of note: A House-passed bill banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth is also on Friday's agenda.

What's next: Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign all three bills once they secure final approval.

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