FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 22, 2015
Contact: Karen Law – 612-865-8397
Andrea Ledger – 651-356-9358
Saint Paul, MN (January 22, 2015) — This morning, reproductive health advocates in Minnesota condemned efforts that would restrict women’s access to affordable abortion care. These efforts, which have been put forth by local anti-choice groups including Minnesota Citizens Concern for Life (MCCL), prohibit Minnesota’s Medical Assistance funds from covering abortion care. MCCL and anti-choice groups released their agenda on the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in the United States.
“In lieu of banning abortion altogether, MCCL and anti-choice groups are targeting Minnesota’s most vulnerable by making abortion care unaffordable. Any woman in Minnesota, from Rochester to Minneapolis to Crookston, should be able to make her own important life decisions, including whether to become a parent. But now our politicians want to treat some women’s health needs differently than others because of their income or source of insurance,” declared Andrea Ledger, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
Minnesota is one of 15 states that uses state Medicaid funds to cover both childbirth and abortion care for low-income women. Minnesota’s Supreme Court decision, which was ruled on in 1995, ensures access to reproductive health care for all women, regardless of their financial situation or source of insurance coverage. These efforts, if enacted as legislation, would violate Minnesota’s constitutionally guaranteed reproductive decision-making by imposing coverage bans and other restrictions that limit access to abortion care.
“Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage just because she’s poor. These bans disproportionately affect low-income women, women of color, and young people,” explained Karen Law, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Resources. “Minnesotans need more, not less, access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services, and that includes safe and affordable abortion.”
“These efforts are a thinly veiled attack on women’s reproductive decisions and Minnesotans won’t stand for it,” added Ledger.