Gender Justice applauds the MN House and Senate introduction of the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2022
Erin Hart, Communications Director
Gender Justice applauds the MN House introduction of the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (HF 4900) by Representative Kelly Morrison (DFL-Minneapolis) and we are looking forward to the Senate companion on the way with Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Lakeville).
The law would protect patients who travel to Minnesota and the providers and any others who support and assist them to access abortion care, contraception, or other reproductive health care, by preventing Minnesota state agencies from enforcing or recognizing civil or criminal penalties imposed in another state. Further, the law would authorize those who have “had a judgment entered” against them in another state for receiving, providing or helping a person obtain reproductive health care services in Minnesota to sue for damages. Their legislation mirrors legislation being introduced across the country in a multistate effort to create states of refuge for those providing, assisting with, or seeking abortion care.
“As many patients in neighboring states and across the country will soon look to Minnesota to seek the essential healthcare they need, Gender Justice appreciates these state legislators for their proactive measures to protect abortion access in our state,” stated Megan Peterson, Executive Director of Gender Justice. “This is the type of action that we need from lawmakers who support reproductive rights, especially on the cusp of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.”
Legislation seeking to criminalize those seeking, providing, or assisting with abortion care has been introduced in a growing number of states. In Missouri, the legislation would allow individuals to sue anyone helping a patient cross state lines for an abortion. And after Roe v. Wade is overturned, up to 26 states will immediately ban abortion, denying care to millions of people. This bill is modeled on legislation passed in Connecticut and includes 11 states in total that have already or plan to introduce this legislation.