Abortion Access Bills Advance at Capitol 

1/19/2023

A pair of bills related to abortion access are moving fast in St. Paul. The most notable of which, HF1 (Kotyza-Witthuhn, DFL – Eden Prairie), or the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act,is expected to pass the House floor today (January 19). The bill would codify the right to reproductive freedom and autonomous decisions about an individual's own reproductive health, and it outlines the fundamental right to use or refuse reproductive health care, including abortion.  

Another bill, HF 91 (Liebling, DFL – Rochester) would repeal existing statutes that obstruct access to abortion services. Many of these statutes have already been ruled unconstitutional, but remain on the books in Minnesota. Statutes the bill would repeal include: 

  1. Criminal penalties for physicians who perform induced abortions without first disclosing anesthetic or analgesic options to alleviate pain of the fetus. 

  1. Informed consent waiting periods for abortions. 

  1. Data reporting requirements for abortions. 

  1. Statutory definitions of “family planning” which preclude organizations that provide abortion counseling, referrals, and procedures from applying to family planning grants. 

  1. State-based laws that restrict access to abortion by minors through mandatory parental notification. 

The MMA shared a letter of support for the bill, stating “all healthcare decisions, including whether or not to have an abortion, are deeply personal and should be made between a patient and their healthcare professional. Access to safe healthcare options, such as abortion, should not be obstructed.” HF 91 passed out of the Health Finance and Policy Committee on January 12. 

The bill is also moving in the Minnesota Senate, where SF 70 (Maye Quade, DFL – Apple Valley) has already received its first committee hearing.