Minnesota Governor Signs Order Strengthening Abortion Access in the State

Response to extreme Supreme Court justices Revealing federally-established abortion rights protections, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) took executive action over the weekend to strengthen current statewide abortion protections — including for those who may travel to Minnesota from another state seeking the procedure.

Walz issued Executive Order 22-16The Supreme Court issued its ruling on the day following. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Walz’s order instructs state government agencies to decline requests to extradite non-Minnesotans to their state of origin if they’re accused of committing acts related to their reproductive health that are allowed in Minnesota. The order also prohibits state agencies de assisting other states to sanction those who provide abortion services within Minnesota.

“No state agency may provide any information or expend or use time, money, facilities, property, equipment, personnel, or other resources in furtherance of any investigation or proceeding that seeks to impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanctions upon a person or entity,” the order says in part.

The state of Minnesota currently recognizes abortion rights beyond those enumerated in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Due to 1995 ruling by the state Supreme CourtMinnesota’s state constitution recognizes abortion as a right. Some restrictions are still in effect, including a 24-hour waiting period, but it’s likely the state will become a “sanctuary” for abortion services in the MidwestIt is prohibited in Minnesota and all other states that border Minnesota.

In a tweet on Monday explaining his latest executive action, Walz — who is up for reelection in November — pointed out that the right to abortion in Minnesota could be in jeopardy after this year’s midterm races.

“My office has been and will continue to be a firewall against legislation that would reverse reproductive freedom,” Walz said. “This order demonstrates our commitment to ensuring access to abortion services and reproductive care remains safe, legal, and accessible.”

It’s possible that Walz’s order from this past weekend, as well as other abortion protections, will be undone following the midterm races. Current polling shows that Walz is in a statistical tie with his Republican challenger, Scott Jensen, who has vowed to ban abortion in the stateIf he defeats the incumbent governor in this fall.

Efforts to pass a far right constitutional amendment in order to disrupt the state constitutional right to abortion may not succeed, even if Republicans win all seats of state government in the midterms — for an amendment to be enactedIt must be approved by both chambers of state legislatures and voted on in a statewide vote. polling data demonstrates that most Minnesotans support keeping abortion rights intact.

However, a Republican takeover could result in stricter restrictions on abortion services. Although these restrictions may technically be in line with the state Supreme Court decision, they could still make accessing this procedure more difficult for many residents as well as those traveling to Minnesota from states that have outright banned abortion.