The story of a 10-year old Ohio girl who was impregnated and forced to seek an abortion in Indiana due to her state’s newly restrictive abortion law has focused attention on girls forced to carry pregnancies to term after being raped.
In Minnesota, 20 Minnesota girls under the age of 15 had abortions in 2021, according to a recent Minnesota Department of Health report. Nationally, 1,410 girls under the age of 15 had abortions in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control. This was .2% of all abortions reported that year.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving abortion law to the 50 states has created national uncertainty about whether women and girls will be able to get care — and where.
The right to abortion, including for minors, remains protected in Minnesota under a legal precedent called Doe v. Gomez. Accessing abortion previously required minors to inform their parents or go through a court exemption process, due to a 1981 state law.
A Ramsey County District Court judge expanded access for minors this week, ruling that the parental notification law violates the state constitution, which means minors no longer need to inform their parents prior to having an abortion. Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is responsible for defending state laws, has not decided on an appeal.
Despite the parental notification law that was in effect until this week, of the 10,339 people who got abortions in Minnesota in 2020, 264 were minors; 236 were 15 and older, and 28 were under 15.
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