Doe v. Minnesota Intervention Hearing

January 5, 2023

Gender Justice was back in court today for another hearing in its case challenging Minnesota’s unconstitutional abortion restrictions, Doe v. Minnesota. Today’s hearing involved an attempt by a third-party to intervene in the case. This effort follows three previous unsuccessful intervention attempts by other non-parties.

In July 2022, after both the plaintiffs and defendants in Doe v. Minnesota requested summary judgment, Ramsey County District Court Judge Thomas A. Gilligan ruled that the majority of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions were unconstitutional and permanently blocked their enforcement. These laws include: a ban on qualified non-physician practitioners performing abortions; the two-parent notification law; the 24-hour waiting period, the requirement that doctors recite a script of misleading information about abortion to patients; a ban on the provision of second trimester abortion care outside of hospitals; and regulations that subject abortion providers to felony criminal penalties for minor regulatory infractions.

The court held that the Minnesota Constitution protects not just a fundamental right to choose abortion, but also a fundamental right to access abortion care, noting that “[t]he right to choose to have an abortion . . . would be meaningless without the right to access abortion care.” Following the court’s decision, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison declined to pursue an appeal.

“The court in Doe v. Minnesota was clear when it handed down its decision six months ago: the majority of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions are unconstitutional,” said Gender Justice Legal Director, Jess Braverman. “This ruling was a landmark victory for meaningful abortion rights and access in Minnesota, and no amount of procedural maneuvering will change that. Abortion will continue to be more accessible and affordable in Minnesota than it has been for decades.”

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