(TotalConservative.com) – The state House of Minnesota passed a new bill prohibiting the enforcement of laws, subpoenas, judgments, or extraditions in Minnesota from other states against anyone who receives, performs, or assists someone else in receiving an abortion in the state. This will move to fortify Minnesota as a refuge state for patients from other states who come for abortions as well as provide protection for providers.
The bill passed with a 68-62 vote after the first version passed the Senate committee the week prior.
Rep. Esther Agbaje, a Democrat from Minneapolis, was the lead author of the bill. As a main concern for supporters of the bill, she cited a law in Texas that deputizes citizens to enforce the restrictions of their state by allowing individuals to file charges against anyone who assists a patient in obtaining an abortion outside of Texas.
According to Jamie Long, Democratic House Majority Leader, similar legislation to Texas is being introduced in many other states and could put abortion providers in Minnesota at risk of legal retaliation, and any residents who assist friends or family from these states coming to Minnesota for the procedure.
Oklahoma also allows private citizens to press charges on people who may have assisted someone else in obtaining an abortion. And Minnesota isn’t the first state to become a safe haven for those seeking the procedure; California and Colorado are already adopting similar protections for those traveling there for abortions.
Another bill in Minnesota, which is still going through the House and Senate, would roll back various statutes that restrict abortion access that was declared unconstitutional by a district judge last July. The bill will make sure those restrictions can’t be restored.
Republicans who oppose the bills say Minnesota now has virtually no restrictions at all on abortions, which can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy, and their efforts to maintain some limits and to scale back the liberal legislation have been unsuccessful.
Republican Rep. Anne Neu Brindley said that Minnesota will “reward breaking the law” and “reward behavior that leads to felony convictions in other states.”
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