St. Paul, MN - Today, a group of committed legislators gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol to announce the formation of the first ever Reproductive Freedom Caucus within the Minnesota Legislature.
The new caucus seeks to advance legislation to achieve full reproductive justice, where every Minnesotan has the right to choose whether or not to have a child and to raise children they choose to have in safe and sustainable communities, with gender freedom and bodily autonomy.
"Reproductive freedom allows us to control our bodies and our futures — we applaud this group of lawmakers for joining together to proudly fight for Minnesotans’ fundamental rights,” says Sarah Stoesz, President of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund.
Texas recently implemented the worst abortion ban in the country’s history, banning abortion before most people know they are pregnant. S.B. 8 also empowers private citizens to sue anyone who helps a patient get an abortion and gives a reward of at least $10,000 if they successfully sue. The law comes as the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is set to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health this December, a Mississippi case that is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the decision that established the right to abortion. If SCOTUS significantly weakens Roe, abortion rights would be determined by state law, paving the way for extreme state politicians to ban abortion.
In addition to refusing to protect access to birth control and blocking efforts to ensure that young people receive medically accurate comprehensive sexual health education, earlier this year, anti-abortion lawmakers in Minnesota introduced four bills to ban abortion as early as six weeks and lawmakers in neighboring states have already stated their intent to introduce copycat legislation similar to S.B. 8. We need lawmakers to advance legislation like the Protect Reproductive Options Act and the Patient’s Right to Know Act to both protect and expand access to abortion in Minnesota.
“Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion care in Minnesota and we will protect comprehensive healthcare services for the sake of our state and our regions” Says Dr. Sarah Traxler, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Our mission is more important now than any other time in history. And today, we must stand together and speak in support for reproductive freedom and health equity."
"Abortion is health care and we know abortion restrictions harm people who already face systemic and unjust barriers to health care — mainly low-income Americans and people of color,” said Stoesz. “We look forward to working with this group of legislative champions to protect and strengthen reproductive freedom, including bills to improve access to contraception and abortion, ensure medically accurate sexuality education for young people and reduce health disparities. Minnesotans can be proud that our legislators are standing on the right side of history, doing all we can to ensure our reproductive freedom.”
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.