Minnesota Court Allows Teens to Get Secret Abortions Without Parents’ Knowledge

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 11, 2022   |   8:36PM   |   St. Paul, Minnesota

A Minnesota district court issued a devastating ruling Monday that blocked a series of pro-life laws, including one requiring parents to be informed before their underage daughter has an abortion.

As a result of the ruling, young teens may get secret abortions – or be forced into them by an abuser – without their parents’ knowledge. That abortion may be done by someone other than a licensed physician, the young teen may be rushed into it with no waiting period to consider her decision, and the abortion facility no longer must inform her about abortion risks, alternatives to abortion or her unborn baby’s development.

“A lot of women have been helped by these policies,” said Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. “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.”

The Star Tribune reports the Ramsey County District Court blocked the state from enforcing its 24-hour waiting period, parental notification and informed consent laws for abortion in the Monday ruling.

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It also ruled unconstitutional a law that requires abortions to be performed by licensed physicians and another that requires abortions after the first trimester to be done in a hospital, according to the report.

The ruling is the result of a lawsuit that pro-abortion groups filed about three years ago, pointing to a 1995 state Supreme Court ruling that found a so-called right to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution.

“These abortion laws violate the right to privacy because they infringe upon the fundamental right under the Minnesota Constitution to access abortion care and do not withstand strict scrutiny,” Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan wrote in his ruling, citing that decision.

But Fischbach slammed the ruling as extreme, saying the U.S. Supreme Court upheld similar laws in other states even while Roe was in place.

“Today’s ruling striking them down is extreme and without a foundation in the Minnesota Constitution,” he said. “Even the U.S. Supreme Court, under Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions, allowed these very modest types of laws. Yet today’s ruling blocks them and prevents Minnesotans from enacting reasonable protections for unborn children and their mothers. The decision must be appealed.”

The Minnesota Woman’s Right to Know law ensures that women receive basic factual information about abortion risks, the development of their unborn baby, pregnancy and parenting resources and more before having an abortion. The state parental notification law requires parents to be notified before a girl under age 18 has an abortion.

Both are common-sense measures that protect women and girls, and polls show strong public support for such laws.

“The laws challenged in this case are commonsense measures that support and empower pregnant women,” Fischbach said.

While many other midwestern states protect unborn babies by banning abortions now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe, Minnesota cannot. Because of the 1995 state Supreme Court ruling, state lawmakers are hampered from passing pro-life legislation and state taxpayers are forced to fund abortions.

More than 10,000 unborn babies were aborted in the state in 2021, according to state health department data.