January 22nd is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of 2022. Since then, it has been up to state legislatures to take action on reproductive health policies, especially on abortion, gender-affirming care, and contraception.
During the 2022 midterms, Minnesotans made it clear that they expected elected officials to act and protect reproductive freedom. We elected the state’s first-ever pro-choice progressive trifecta.
Our progressive leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz worked tirelessly during the legislative session to champion bills that protect abortion access. And they fought back against conservatives trying to eliminate access to reproductive health care.
Progressives Codified the Right to Abortion in Minnesota
One of the very first bills Governor Tim Walz signed into law last year was The Protect Reproductive Options Act (PRO Act).
The PRO Act protects the right to contraception, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, the right to fertility treatment, and the right to an abortion. The bill also protects reproductive rights at all state government levels, meaning that a city or county cannot limit reproductive rights or abortion access.
Progressives are Protecting Out-of-State Patients and Doctors
Even though the PRO Act codified the right to abortion for Minnesota residents, progressives also took measures to keep Minnesota a beacon of access to reproductive care in the Midwest.
With the right to abortion continuously under attack in our neighboring states, Governor Walz signed the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act. This act protect patients coming to Minnesota from a state that banned abortions and doctors who practice in Minnesota or outside Minnesota.
Minnesota has become a safe haven for people seeking abortions in our neighboring states with abortion bans. The share of out-of-state patients traveling to Minnesota for an abortion tripled between 2020 and 2023.
Conservatives Still Want to Ban Abortion in Minnesota
Even though our progressive trifecta secured the passage of these critical laws, every single conservative member of the Minnesota Senate voted against the PRO Act. And they even launched an informal filibuster to prevent the bill from passing the Senate.
Eighty abortion restrictions were enacted in 2023 across the country, and in combination with bans enacted in 2022, have resulted in access to care being restricted for millions of people.
Help Us Hold Conservatives Accountable
We’re thankful to live in a state that values bodily autonomy and the fundamental right to abortion. And we’re grateful to our progressive leaders for taking bold action to codify abortion rights and protect patients and physicians from other states.
But the ongoing attacks from conservatives on abortion rights are unacceptable. Minnesotans are sick and tired of having our rights put under attack.
We need to hold conservatives accountable for trying to take away our reproductive freedoms so that we can continue to build a better Minnesota for the years to come.
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