The Minnesota Public Health Association recognizes abortion as an essential healthcare service and access to it as an important public health issue. Restrictions and bans on abortion undermine the Roe v. Wade decision and serve as a means to further exacerbate systemic inequities experienced by many communities, including American Indians, communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities.
The recent Supreme Court decision allows a Texas law to ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy.1 It also allows for legal action to be taken by ordinary citizens (including those from outside of Texas) against abortion clinics, doctors, any person seeking or planning to seek abortion services or anyone helping a person get an abortion in Texas after the six-week timeframe.2 If successful, plaintiffs can earn up to $10,000. Moreover, this ban does not make exceptions for rape or incest.3 The Texas law is contrary to longstanding MPHA policies supporting people’s fundamental right to a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion.
Recent years have seen increasing attacks on reproductive rights, nationally and in Minnesota.4 The Texas statute bans abortion before many people know they are pregnant, encourages intimidation of people seeking healthcare, and effectively removes freedom of choice. Abortion restrictions and bans increase medical risks for pregnant people, disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color, disrespects the relationship between a patient and medical provider, and undermines the autonomy of people over their own lives. This has widespread and serious consequences and is contrary to public health goals.
Federal courts in other states have struck down similar bans. The Texas ban must not be allowed to stand, similar efforts in Minnesota must be defeated and we must support efforts to protect the reproductive health of Minnesotans.5 The Minnesota Public Health Association stands firmly committed to reproductive justice, and that a person’s reproductive health should be decided between that person and their medical provider.
- American Public Health Association. (9/1/21) APHA dismayed over Texas abortion ban, court refusal to act. https://www.apha.org/News-and-Media/News-Releases/APHA-News-Releases/2021/Texas-abortion-ban
- The New York Times. (9/7/21) Citizens, Not the State, Will Enforce New Abortion Laws in Texas. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/us/abortion-law-regulations-texas.html
- New Mexico Public Health Association. (9/3/21) NMPHA dismayed over Texas abortion ban, court refusal to act. http://www.nmpha.org/resources/Documents/NMPHA%20SB8%20Statement.docx
- Unrestrict Minnesota. Minnesota Laws. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://unrestrictmn.org/minnesota-abortion-laws/
- Unrestrict Minnesota. Welcome to the Community Hub. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://unrestrictmn.org/community/