Bill seeks to codify abortion access in Minnesota law 

The bill seeks to add a provision to Minnesota law declaring that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state.”

Background: Pro-Life Action Ministries/Facebook. Left: Rep. Kelly Morrison/Minnesota House.

With a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, many pro-abortion groups and legislators are working to codify abortion access at the state and federal level.

President Joe Biden said on Friday, the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, that his administration is “committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.”

“In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care — including reproductive health care — regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status,” said Biden.

In Minnesota, Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, has introduced the Protect Reproductive Options Act, which would grant Minnesotans the “fundamental right” to obtain an abortion.

“Every individual has the fundamental right to: choose or refuse reproductive health care, choose or refuse contraception or sterilization, and choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth to a child, or choose to obtain an abortion,” states the bill.

Additionally, the bill seeks to add a provision to Minnesota law declaring that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state.”

The bill would also prohibit “interference with reproductive decision-making.” Planned Parenthood expressed its support for the bill in a press release last week.

“With a new conservative U.S. Supreme Court poised to take up any of 17 anti-abortion cases this year, it is imperative that the Minnesota Legislature act to protect the basic health care rights of Minnesotans,” the organization said.

Morrison said she introduced the bill because the high court is “poised to gut Roe v. Wade.”

“We’re on the brink of losing control of our own bodies,” she said in a video. “This bill will protect the right of all Minnesotans to make their own reproductive health decision, including the right to take birth control, have an abortion, or even have a vasectomy. Every person should have the freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions.”

There are some limited restrictions on abortion access at the state level, but the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the right to an abortion is protected under the Minnesota Constitution in the 1995 Doe v. Gomez case.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 9,922 abortions were performed in Minnesota in 2019 — the most recent year for which data is available.