The ordinance will improve safety by preventing people from obstructing driveway and entrances to abortion facilities.
St. Paul, MN— Today, Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved and Mayor Frey signed an ordinance that will improve safety at abortion health centers in the city. City Council Member Lisa Goodman led the ordinance effort and every city council member asked to be an author.
The ordinance will prevent people from blocking or obstructing the driveway and entrances to abortion health centers, a needed measure after an uptick in protestors has endangered drivers and pedestrians outside of Planned Parenthood’s Uptown health center, the only abortion health center in the city.
“Every patient deserves to access health care safely and to feel welcomed,” said Tim Stanley, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Minnesota Action Fund. “Minneapolis is making it clear that this city supports abortion patients, abortion providers, and in a way that allows for protesters to exercise their first amendment rights. The ordinance passed today will allow for straightforward changes that will make the situation safe for everyone— including for the protesters.”
The ordinance only addresses protester activity by prohibiting driveway occupation, with exceptions for crossing the driveway without stopping or slowing down. Similar ordinances have been passed in other states, including in Louisville, KY.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections in June, there has been an uptick in protester activity at abortion health centers. At the same time, Planned Parenthood also seen a 13% increase in abortion patients from out of the region coming to Minnesota for care. Abortion patients are travelling from as close as South Dakota and Wisconsin, and as far away as Texas and Louisiana.
“Minnesota is welcoming abortion patients from across the country,” said Stanley. “No matter where someone lives or how far they’ve travelled, everyone should be able to access the health care they need. I want to thank Minneapolis for taking action today. The ordinance will help all Planned Parenthood patients, volunteers, staff.”
Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.