A Democrat-backed bill making its way through the Minnesota Legislature seeks to repeal the state’s informed consent laws for abortion.
The informed consent requirements state that a female seeking an abortion must be told about the “medical risks” associated with the procedure by “telephone or in person” at least 24 hours before the abortion is performed. A doctor must inform the patient about the “risks of infection, hemorrhage, breast cancer, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility.”
For abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy, patients must be informed about “whether or not an anesthetic or analgesic would eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child caused by the particular method of abortion to be employed.”
These statutes would be repealed under House File 3506, introduced last week by Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville) and cosponsored by nine of her Democratic colleagues.
“As a doctor and a representative, I can tell you with absolute certainty that healthcare decisions belong in the examination room, not the Capitol,” Mann said in a press release. “We should be giving doctors the tools they need to do their jobs, and patients the bodily autonomy they need to make the best healthcare decisions for them and their families – that means safe, legal abortion access free from outside interference.”
Gender Justice, a Minnesota-based nonprofit legal organization, supports the bill and called the informed consent requirements a “state mandated script.”
“Every Minnesotan deserves access to a full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care. Our current laws stigmatize abortion and only exist to create obstacles for people needing care,” said Megan Peterson, executive director of Gender Justice. “Gender Justice is proud to work with two dedicated physicians and representatives to ensure patients across Minnesota have the care they need and the bodily autonomy they deserve.”
The bill is being carried by Sen. Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights) in the Senate and has the support of UnRestrict Minnesota, a coalition of 20 groups seeking to repeal Minnesota’s abortion restrictions.
Minnesota is one of 27 states that require women to wait a specified amount of time between meeting with a doctor and an abortion procedure.
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