Report: MN Could Improve Women’s Reproductive Health Access

Pro Choice Rally

There are 26 states in the U.S that have severely restricted access to reproductive health services, and although Minnesota isn’t on that list, new research suggests the state is out of step with the views of women.

A new 50-state report by NARAL Pro-Choice America characterized Minnesota as offering women “some access” – more than most other Midwestern states – but said the state is still in need of improvement. The group’s National Political Director Joel Foster said most Americans support a woman’s right to chose.

“Based on the extensive research that we’ve done, seven-in-ten Americans support keeping abortion legal,” Foster said. “That’s not just a majority – that’s a consensus. And that consensus includes people from all parts of the country, and of all political leanings.”

The report said that Minnesota imposes abortion restrictions that are “medically unneccesary,” and prohibits some qualified healthcare professionals from providing the procedure. It also said that 95 percent of Minnesota counties have no abortion clinic.

Sunday rally at Minnesota capitol

This Sunday, January 22, anti-abortion groups are having a march and rally on the State Capitol Mall to introduce this year’s legislative agenda.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said the report’s findings highlight the uncertain future of reproductive freedom in the United States if President-elect Donald Trump appoints Supreme Court justices who oppose Roe v. Wade. That case was decided 44 years ago this month.

“Women in this country are just living life in impossible paradoxes, all because anti-choice politicians believe that they should impose their ideology on the rest of us, and refuse to provide women the freedom and support to live our independent lives,” Hogue said.

She said there are serious concerns about Trump’s nomination of Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia to run the Department of Health and Human Services. Price has supported many anti-choice measures, including a ban on federal health coverage of abortions.

“[There are] some anti-choice politicians who sort of go with the flow, and there are some who really feel this in their gut – and Tom Price appears to be the latter,” Hogue said. “He spent the vast majority of his time in Congress actually substituting his own ideology for the judgment of his own constituents.”

The report said that 16 states and the District of Columbia enacted 30 pro-choice measures in 2016.

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