A Minnesota district court has ruled some state laws restricting abortion access violate the state Constitution, a significant victory for abortion rights groups just weeks after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
The court on Monday blocked enforcement of a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion after consulting with a physician and two-parent notification requirement for patients under 18, as well as an informed consent requirement. The ruling also found unconstitutional a mandate that only physicians can perform abortions, even those administered by medication, as well as a law requiring that abortions after the first trimester be performed in a hospital.
These pro-life laws were consistent with the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision that prohibited any ‘undue burden’ to abortion. The Minnesota court used the Michigan Constitution’s ‘right to privacy’ as the basis for invalidating the pro-life laws.
The mainstream media portrays these laws as ‘restricting abortion access’ but in reading the actual laws involved, the pro-abortion, pro-death radicalism of both the court and those pushing this barbarous baby-murdering policies becomes evident.
What the media also ignores is that these laws were defended by the Minnesota Attorney General, who is radical left-wing nut Keith Ellison. So the pro-abortion Plaintiffs filed suit against the pro-abortion Attorney General, heard in a courtroom by a judge appointed by a far left Governor, to argue about pro-life laws passed nearly four decades prior.
The entire courtroom was filled with bad faith litigants. In law this is sometimes called a ‘laydown’ suit where a friendly ideological group files suit against a law they want to invalidate, and the Attorney General’s office makes weak arguments to ensure that it is defeated. The Plaintiff picks a friendly judicial district in which to file suit, and everything happens according to plan.
The basic rundown of the pro-life laws invalidated are not well described in the reporting. The laws invalidated by this court required a physician to perform an abortion instead of random people on the street. They required post-first-trimester abortions to be performed in a hospital or abortion clinic. They required viable fetus abortions, late-term abortions, to be performed in a hospital. They required abortionists to follow the law. They required women to be informed about the procedure. They required doctors to report to the state when a woman died from abortion complications.
Also missing from the reporting is that the effect of various pro-life laws have been measured by social scientists.
Dr. Michael New, Assistant Professor of Social Research at The Catholic University of America and Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, has studied pro-life laws and attempted to measure their effectiveness at actually reducing abortion rates. He says that the Minnesota court’s ruling will directly increase abortions by hundreds and possibly thousands.
“My 2014 State Politics and Policy Quarterly SPPQ study shows that well designed informed consent laws like Minnesota’s reduce abortion rates anywhere from 2 percent to 7 percent. Since the Minnesota Department of State Health reports that 9,127 abortions were performed on Minnesota residents in 2021. As such, the fact that this informed consent law was struck down could result in anywhere from approximately 180 to 680 more abortions performed in Minnesota annually.”
Dr. New continued, “The court’s decision to strike down the Minnesota’s parental involvement law was especially disappointing. Studies show parental involvement laws lower minor abortion rates, reduce STI rates among teenagers, and lower teen suicide rates. Furthermore, Minnesota’s parental involvement law was especially strong. It was one of three state parental involvement laws which required that both parents be involved in a minor’s decision to obtain an abortion. My 2008 study for the Family Research Council found that laws like Minnesota’s which require the involvement of two parents reduce in-state minor abortion rates by over 31 percent.”
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the statewide pro-life group in Minnesota, said: “The laws challenged in this case are commonsense measures that support and empower pregnant women,” according to MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “A lot of women have been helped by these policies, and now they will be harmed as these protections are taken away by an egregiously mistaken court ruling, one that goes well beyond Roe v. Wade. This mistake must be corrected.”
These four reasonable pro-life laws were invalidated by the Minnesota District Court:
145.412 1(1) said it shall be unlawful to willfully perform an abortion unless the abortion is performed by a physician licensed to practice medicine pursuant to chapter 147, or a physician in training under the supervision of a licensed physician.
145.412 1(3) said that it shall be unlawful to willfully perform an abortion unless the abortion is performed in a manner consistent with the lawful rules promulgated by the state commissioner of health
145.412 1(4) said that it shall be unlawful to willfully perform an abortion unless the abortion is performed with the consent of the woman submitting to the abortion after a full explanation of the procedure and effect of the abortion.
145.412 4 said a person who performs an abortion in violation of this section, covering the practice of abortion following the otherwise lawful rules, and after giving the mother a full explanation of the procedure, is guilty of a felony.
145.413(3) created a felony for doctors who failed to report a mother’s death from an abortion complication within a timely manner.
144.343 2 required notice given to the parents of an underage mother, and also to mothers under a guardianship such as the mentally impaired where they potentially could not legally consent to an abortion. The notice was by certified mail. “… no abortion operation shall be performed upon an unemancipated minor or upon a woman for whom a guardian has been appointed… until at least 48 hours after written notice of the pending operation has been delivered in the manner specified … notice shall be made by certified mail addressed to the parent at the usual place of abode of the parent with return receipt requested and restricted delivery to the addressee which means postal employee can only deliver the mail to the authorized addressee.
144.343 3 defined the parents of an underage or mentally impaired child seeking an abortion as all the living biological parents of the child mother.
144.343 4 allowed a pregnant minor mother to obtain an abortion by declaring that she is a victim of sexual abuse, neglect, or physical abuse as defined in chapter 260E.
144.343 5 made the violation of the two-parent notification law a mere misdemeanor and civil action, and allowed an abortionist to say that they relied on good faith documents if they were provided to them.
144.343 6 allowed underage mothers seeking to avoid the parental notification provision to seek a judicial bypass where a judge could sign off on the termination of the unborn child without such notice, “any judge of a court of competent jurisdiction shall, upon petition, or motion, and after an appropriate hearing, authorize a physician to perform the abortion if said judge determines that the pregnant woman is mature and capable of giving informed consent to the proposed abortion.”