UnRestrict Minnesota

UnRestrict Minnesota

Gender Justice is proud to be the organizational and financial home of UnRestrict Minnesota, the powerful multi-racial coalition and reproductive freedom campaign that has led Minnesota to become a national leader for reproductive freedom.

Fact: 96% of Minnesotans are unaware of the MN laws that restrict access to abortion.

How We Make Change

What We Fight For

Where Barriers Occur

Minnesota has long been considered a beacon for abortion rights and access. Yet for decades—and unbeknownst to 96% of the state—politicians had quietly enacted a slate of anti-abortion laws that, combined, made it traumatic, and sometimes even impossible, to get care.

These laws, known as TRAP (targeted regulations of abortion providers) worked together to make it more difficult to provide and obtain abortion care. In 2019, in partnership with The Lawyering Project, Gender Justice filed the case Doe v. Minnesota on behalf of two healthcare providers, the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, and abortion fund Our Justice. The case was rooted in a novel legal theory to take on these laws as a whole, cumulative effort to undermine our constitutional protection to have an abortion.

In preparation for the lawsuit, we commissioned PerryUndem to conduct statewide focus groups and polling.

We found that only 4% (yes, 4%!) of people could identify a single abortion restriction, despite there being many.

Even more, the vast majority of folks thought our state laws actually affirmed, rather than restricted, access to care.

This is where UnRestrict Minnesota was born.

UnRestrict Minnesota

How could we tell the story of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions when no one knew of their existence? We needed to lift the veil and get these laws in front of everyone we could.

Donor support helped Gender Justice bring together a coalition that now includes more than 30 community organizations, and these groups hit the pavement to get the word out. Community members held house parties, attended drag shows, organized on campus, went to the theater, and talked with farmers and parents at the Minnesota State Fair. Donations helped to splash the laws on billboards, digital ads, and stickers all across the state so that everyone could learn the truth about what people were forced to endure when accessing and providing abortion care.

Support of the UnRestrict Minnesota campaign was instrumental in setting the stage for our legal win in Doe v. Minnesota. Judges are people too, and they can take their cues from the public. Community members rallied, donated, called their lawmakers, and spoke out LOUD for abortion. They gave voice to the largest cross-sector, multiracial coalition for reproductive freedom and justice in state history, helped establish the first-ever Reproductive Freedom Caucus at the State Legislature, made historic progress in the 2023 legislative session — and we’re not done yet!

UnRestrict Minnesota has been a beautiful, collective effort that continues to set the standard across the country.

Learn more at unrestrictmn.org

You Can Help.

With your financial support, Gender Justice can continue to fight hard for our clients and push the laws forward in our legislature. Be there with us as we work to bring about big, systemic change. Give today.

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