Reproductive Freedom Defense Act Passes Senate Health and Human Services Committee
By Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Inc. | March 14, 2023, 8:44 p.m.
Bill would protect doctors and patients who need access to the full range of reproductive health care options.
St. Paul, MN — Today, the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (RFDA) passed the Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services committee. The bill would protect patients in Minnesota, coming to Minnesota from a state that bans abortions, and doctors who practice in Minnesota or outside of Minnesota.
In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade eliminating the federal right to abortion. This decision was a shattering blow to the right to access abortion in the United States, leaving even more people struggling to access the essential health care they need.
Since Roe was overturned, 18 states including South Dakota have banned abortion. It’s expected that the states surrounding Minnesota will all eventually ban abortion, making Minnesota an island of access in the Midwest. People coming to Minnesota for essential reproductive health care deserve to do so without fear of prosecution, and doctors practicing in Minnesota deserve to care for patients without fear of criminal charges from other states.
Statement from Dr. Sarah Traxler, Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood North Central States:
“Since June, I’ve cared for patients from everywhere – from nearby states like South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin and from far away states like Texas, Alabama, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. I’ve seen patients who’ve flown from places like Louisiana only to find that their complex pregnancy condition kept them from being seen in a clinic like mine – forcing them to continue a dangerous pregnancy because hospital-based care was not available to them.
Our new abortion landscape since the Dobbs decision is difficult, it is dangerous, and it is putting patients and health care providers at severe risk. I’ve talked to my colleagues practicing in states where abortion is now illegal, and they are unnecessarily struggling with decisions around ethical, proper medical care or coming into conflict with the law.
We need the RFDA so that Minnesotans and all patients and doctors know that they are welcome here. We must reassure them that Minnesota supports them, and our commitment to their reproductive rights and health care will not change. Health care providers need that reassurance, too, so that we know our medical and ethical obligations to care for our patients are not restricted by politics.”
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.
Visit us at www.plannedparenthoodadvocate.org