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Minnesota Abortion Restrictions Permanently Blocked, Concluding Historic Legal Challenge

Case concludes after Minnesota Supreme Court refuses anti-abortion group’s request to relitigate legal challenge

05.30.24 (PRESS RELEASE) Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied an anti-abortion activist group’s request to intervene in the historic abortion rights lawsuit known as Doe v. Minnesota, affirming lower court rulings denying their effort to relitigate the case.  The ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court concludes the legal challenge, ensuring the restrictions struck down by a district court in July 2022 will remain permanently blocked.

“With millions of people living in a state where abortion is banned or severely restricted, victories for abortion rights like this one in Minnesota are more important than ever,” said Tanya Pellegrini, Senior Counsel at the Lawyering Project.  “This ruling ensures that pregnant people can access abortion care in Minnesota with more dignity and less political meddling than they could have five years ago. We are grateful to the plaintiffs and our partners for their tireless efforts in dismantling these harmful restrictions.” 

“Five years ago, Gender Justice, the Lawyering Project, and our clients understood that the fight to protect abortion rights rests in the states,” said Jess Braverman, Legal Director at Gender Justice.  “Today, we are thrilled to announce that our case is finally over and our victory is settled, marking a significant win for reproductive rights in Minnesota. In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, this decision ensures that everyone in Minnesota—including those traveling here for care—can continue to access abortion services.”

Case History

Doe v. Minnesota was filed in May 2019 in the Second Judicial District in Ramsey County. Plaintiffs Our Justice and two health care providers argued Minnesota abortion restrictions — including a ban on qualified advanced-practice clinicians providing abortion care, a 24-hour mandatory delay and a requirement that young people notify both parents before they can receive abortion care, even if they are estranged — harmed their patients and clients. They are represented by the Lawyering Project and Gender Justice.

In July 2022, the Minnesota district court overseeing the case held that the Minnesota Constitution protects not just a fundamental right to choose abortion, but also a fundamental right to access abortion care. The court ruled several Minnesota abortion restrictions unconstitutional and permanently blocked their enforcement, including:

  • A ban on qualified advance-practice clinicians providing abortion care;
  • A requirement forcing patients to delay their abortion care by at least 24 hours after consulting with a healthcare provider;
  • A requirement that young people notify both parents before they can receive abortion care;
  • A requirement forcing abortion providers to give irrelevant and misleading information to their patients;
  • A ban on the provision of second-trimester abortion care outside of hospitals; and
  • Regulations that subject abortion providers to felony criminal penalties for minor regulatory infractions.

Following the decision, the Minnesota Legislature repealed many of the state’s anti-abortion laws during its 2023 legislative session, including most of the laws challenged by Doe v. Minnesota.