Fact Check: Scott Jensen Could Actually Ban Abortion in Minnesota
Conservative candidate for Minnesota governor Scott Jensen is telling anyone who will listen that the right to abortion isn’t on the ballot this November.
These false claims come after months of Jensen loudly touting that if elected as governor, he would ban abortion in Minnesota and even said he would do so without exceptions for rape or incest.
But now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and abortion is slated as a leading issue, Jensen has been walking back his extreme positions, flip-flopping, and avoiding the abortion conversation at all costs.
In a recent TV ad, Scott Jensen falsely claimed that if he is elected governor, he would have no power to take away the constitutional right to abortion in Minnesota. Here’s why we can’t trust his claim:
Scott Jensen has a long track record of anti-choice policy
First and foremost, Scott Jensen has repeatedly said he would try to ban abortion in Minnesota. And in an interview in May 2022, Jensen confirmed that he would ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest.
But these threats to reproductive rights are not new.
Scott Jensen has a long anti-choice record in the Minnesota Senate and supported legislation in 2017 with restrictive licensing guidelines for abortion facilities. And he voted to restrict access to abortions by defunding organizations that perform abortions and receive taxpayer funding.
Scott Jensen also received a 100% rating from an extreme anti-choice organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). He said on the campaign trail that he would rubberstamp their agenda and “sign anything that they [MCCL] said that we should do.”
Scott Jensen’s running mate, Matt Birk, has also said that he wants to ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest.
At a National Right to Life conference in June 2022, Matt Birk celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and compared safe, legal abortion to slavery.
In the same speech, he said, “women used to not be able to vote, now we let them drive,” and said that he doesn’t believe that rape victims should get able to get an abortion.
Matt Birk has promised that he and Scott Jensen would work to pass laws that ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.
So why the sudden change in message, Scott? Couldn’t possibly be because your extreme stance on abortion is at odds with the sixty percent of Minnesotans who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases and who oppose new severe restrictions on abortion.
Fact Check: As much as Scott Jensen would like us to think otherwise, here are all the ways Jensen could work to ban or heavily restrict abortion access in Minnesota
There are various judicial avenues Scott Jensen could pursue to overturn Doe v. Gomez, the Minnesota Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right in Minnesota.
As governor, Scott Jensen would have the opportunity to appoint justices to the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Including judges that would support an abortion ban.
Even within the last three years, we saw this happen in our neighbors in Iowa when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the decision that made abortion a constitutional right.
Scott Jensen could also heavily restrict abortion access in Minnesota.
If Republicans control the Minnesota House and Senate, they could pursue an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, which Scott Jensen could sign.
And Scott Jensen could sign off on bills restricting or attempting to ban abortion passed by the Minnesota Legislature.
Scott Jensen could also block all legislation protecting abortion and reproductive rights that moves through the Minnesota House and Senate.
He could even pass a Texas-style law that bans abortion as early as six weeks, allows strangers to collect $10,000 for reporting women who have abortions, and would put women and doctors in jail for abortions.
Additionally, if Jensen were governor, he could draft one or more executive orders directing state agencies and others under his supervision to reallocate funding away from abortion and reproductive health care services.
Jensen could appoint a Commissioner of Human Services, Commissioner of Health, and others hostile to abortion rights. Such commissioners could seek to restrict or complicate access to abortion care.
Last but not least, Scott Jensen could rescind the executive order that Governor Walz signed offering legal protection to people from out of state who come to Minnesota for reproductive health services. Instead, Jensen would set up burdensome roadblocks to make it harder for women to access safe, legal abortions.
Scott Jensen’s extreme plans put abortion access on the line for millions of women
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, Scott Jensen is one step closer to banning abortion in Minnesota.
Abortion is essential health care. Minnesota needs leaders who protect our reproductive freedoms, not extremists like Scott Jensen who want to take away the right to choose.
It is more important than ever that we work together to hold Scott Jensen accountable for his harmful, anti-choice plans.
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