House passes abortion protections bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday to legally protect abortion providers and patients throughout the state.

The proposal prevents any legal or professional action against health care workers who aid in an abortion and prohibits Minnesota courts and law enforcement from enforcing out-of-state charges, warrants or extradition orders based on reproductive health care.

In a news conference, Rep. Esther Agbaje (DFL-Minneapolis), who co-authored House File 366, says it’s necessary to protect access to reproductive care in Minnesota when states across the country are taking steps to heavily restrict or outlaw abortions.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to harmful laws attacking not only abortion rights but also individual liberties and privacy more broadly,” Agbaje said. “This bill ensures that Minnesotans can do what is legal and exercise their rights in Minnesota without the threat of prosecution from other states.”

Republican critics call the proposal an overreach of the state’s authority.

On the House floor, Rep. Harry Niska (R-Anoka) said the bill violates the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, which compels states to respect the laws of other states.

“We are telling other states that even if you get a judgment in your other state, if we in the State of Minnesota don’t agree with it, we’re not enforcing it, but just on this one issue because we believe so strongly in our most extreme abortion policy in the entire country that we are going to strike against our constitutional order,” Niska said.

The measure passed the House 68-62. A companion bill is working its way through Senate committees.

Keep tabs on this bill and other key pieces of legislation with KSTP’s Legislative Tracker.