The Potluck

Minnesota is one of 24 states unlikely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, report says

By: - May 4, 2022 2:14 pm

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. Justices are hearing arguments in a Mississippi case that seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade. Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom.

Minnesota is one of 24 states unlikely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to an analysis by the think tank Guttmacher Institute.

That could make Minnesota an island in the upper Midwest. Three neighboring states have laws on the books to automatically make most abortions illegal if federal protection for abortion access is overruled, and another is likely to at least attempt to implement restrictions, according to Guttmacher Institute.

The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to strike down the landmark 1973 ruling, according to a draft opinion obtained by Politico on a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.

Minnesotans have a state constitutional right to abortion access under the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 ruling in Doe v. Gomez. The state has eight abortion providers, according to the pro-abortion-access group Unrestrict Minnesota.

The states bordering Minnesota are among those with laws or constitutional amendments restricting abortion, or where lawmakers have pledged to limit access if Roe v. Wade is overruled, the Guttmacher Institute says. They are:

  • Iowa: The Iowa Supreme Court will issue a decision on abortion access by June 30 and could overturn a previous ruling that the state’s constitution protects the right to abortion, Iowa Public Radio reported. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and the GOP-controlled Legislature have made abortion restrictions a priority.
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin has a 173-year-old law on the books that would ban almost all abortions.
  • North Dakota: A “trigger law” approved in 2007 would make almost all abortions illegal within 30 days of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • South Dakota: A “trigger law” approved in 2005 would make almost all abortions illegal immediately.

DFL Gov. Tim Walz and the DFL-controlled House have pledged to protection abortion rights in Minnesota. But if the GOP gains control of the Legislature after this year’s election, Republicans could try to put abortion restrictions on the ballot in the form of a state constitutional amendment, Walz said Tuesday — similar to the proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage and require ID to vote in 2012, which voters didn’t pass.

Constitutional amendments don’t require the governor’s approval. With approval from a simple majority of lawmakers, constitutional amendments appear before voters in a general election.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.