Advocates Rally in Support of Minnesotans’ Access to Abortion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2019
Erin Hart, Communications Director
Earlier today, advocates from across the region rallied in St. Paul to support Minnesotans’ reproductive health and rights. The rally was held immediately before a hearing in Doe v. Minnesota, a legal challenge to Minnesota’s unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion.
“Time and time again, Minnesota has failed its Black citizens, especially when it comes to accessing reproductive health care,” said Shayla Walker, Vision Realization Advisor for Our Justice, which is a plaintiff in the legal challenge. “Our Justice hopes the court honors this opportunity to listen to the voices in most need of support and let the case proceed. Our health, our rights, and our dignity depend on it.”
“As people of faith and Unitarian Universalists, we know that people who experience abortion need our compassion, trust, and support, not a list of anti-abortion laws that do nothing to protect their health or safety,” said Kelli Clement, Social Justice Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, which is a plaintiff in the legal challenge. “Personal decisions about reproductive health should be left up to individuals with their doctors – not politicians – and we are hopeful the court will rule on the side of compassion and justice for all Minnesotans.”
Doe v. Minnesota was filed in May 2019 in the Second Judicial District by Our Justice, the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and two health care providers who believe that Minnesota’s laws harm their patients. They are represented by Gender Justice and the Lawyering Project. The UnRestrict Minnesota campaign launched the same month to raise awareness of the current restrictions and the risk they pose to Minnesotans’ health and fundamental rights. Today’s hearing was held in response to a request from the state to dismiss the legal challenge, despite the fact that the Minnesota Constitution provides strong legal protections for people who need to end their pregnancies.
“Minnesota has a proud tradition as a leader in the fight for reproductive rights,” said Gender Justice Executive Director Megan Peterson. “But for years, anti-abortion politicians have been quietly chipping away at our rights, passing state laws that aren’t medically necessary for patient health or safety – instead, they’re designed to restrict access, intimidate providers and patients, and increase costs. Minnesota’s unconstitutional abortion restrictions have been on the books for too long already. It’s time to repeal them once and for all.”
“Despite the fact that the Minnesota Constitution provides strong legal protections for abortion access, state officials are trying to prevent people who need abortion care from having their day in court,” said Amanda Allen, Senior Counsel at the Lawyering Project, who represented the plaintiffs in court today. “We are confident that the court will allow our case to proceed and ultimately ensure that Minnesotans are able to access reproductive health care without being burdened by outdated restrictions that have no basis in science or medical evidence.”