St. Paul, Minnesota— Today, Republicans in the Minnesota Senate unanimously opposed a motion to declare urgency and bring the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act to the floor to be debated and voted on despite that this legislation is, according to a recent poll, supported by about three-fourths (76%) of Minnesota voters, including a majority of Republicans (52%). After hearing a summary of the PRO Act, only 26% of Minnesotans indicate that they oppose it.
The PRO Act would establish a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about your own reproductive health care, including the right to contraception, the right to carry a pregnancy to term and the right to abortion, even if the U.S. Supreme Court weakens or eliminates Roe v Wade protections in the future.
However, the Minnesota Senate rejected the motion on the PRO Act, on a 34to 31vote. All Republicans members of the Senate opposed the measure.
“Polling shows that three-fourths of Minnesotans want their reproductive health rights to be protected,” said Sarah Stoesz, President of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund. “And today, many elected officials stood up for Minnesotans’ reproductive freedoms. We can protect our reproductive freedom and protect our right to abortion, but we need even more politicians who will stand up for Minnesotans. Regardless of how we each individually feel about abortion, it’s widely accepted that each person deserves the opportunity to decide what is best for them and their life circumstances.”
The Minnesota Senate today also rejected a motion to debate and vote on the Protect Access to Contraception Act, legislation which would guarantee that contraceptives are covered by insurance without co-payments; ensure that medically necessary contraceptives, as recommended by a health care provider, are covered without co-payments and without interference by employers; and allow Minnesotans to receive up to 12 months of birth control at a time, covered by insurance. The motion failed to pass.
Finally, the Minnesota Senate rejected a motion to debate and vote on a bill that would increase funding towards programs that provide pre-pregnancy and family planning services to low-income, high-risk individuals such as: breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives, HIV testing, and STI testing and treatment. By a vote of 30to 35, this increase in funding failed to pass, with all Senate Republicans voting to block passage.
“Research shows that free and easily accessible birth control and sex education prevents the rates of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortions,” said Stoesz. “Investing in sexual and reproductive education and health care is always a smart choice.”
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.