MN Republicans celebrate, DFLers decry Roe reversal as 'attack on ... fundamental rights'

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Republicans and anti-abortion advocates celebrated the reversal Friday morning of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which established the constitutional right to an abortion. Democrats and abortion-rights advocates say the decision will negatively impact women and families around the nation and take away medical freedom.

Minnesota's Doe v. Gomez ruling establishes the constitutional right to an abortion in the state, but North Dakota and South Dakota have trigger laws that ban abortion almost entirely now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. In May Planned Parenthood said their Minnesota clinics could see a 10%-25% increase in patients seeking abortion care if Roe v. Wade was reversed.

Abortion-rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters, divided by a police line, demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Abortion-rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters, divided by a police line, demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022.

More:Minnesota Planned Parenthood could see 25% increase in patients if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Here’s why.

Republicans celebrate, vow to overturn Doe v. Gomez

"This is a tremendous victory for the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and the sanctity of life. It was widely accepted that Roe v. Wade was deeply flawed on constitutional grounds. As Republicans, our party has always stood for human rights, including those of the unborn," said Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann in a statement Friday. "With today’s rulings, The Supreme Court returned to the states and the people their rightful authority to govern themselves and protect the unborn.”

Anti-abortion activists react to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling which overturns the landmark abortion Roe v. Wade case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, DC.
Anti-abortion activists react to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling which overturns the landmark abortion Roe v. Wade case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Jim Schultz, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Minnesota Attorney General, criticized DFL leadership and "the extreme pro-abortion stance of Keith Ellison and the far left" who he said are misleading the public on this ruling.

"I have been open throughout my campaign that I am pro-life, and I call upon all Americans to respect the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court today," he said in the statement. "Although a previous Minnesota Supreme Court decision means that the Dobbs ruling will have limited effect in Minnesota, we all know that the DFL and my opponent, Keith Ellison, will use the decision to distract Minnesotans from the disastrous policies they have enacted."

More:Roe v. Wade reversal could harm victims of sexual assault, trafficking in Central Minnesota

GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen has promised to ban abortion in Minnesota, including for victims of rape and incest. In a statement Friday, he said as governor he would "want to seek out loving and caring alternatives like universal adoption, family planning measures to prevent pregnancies and policies like counseling and alternative referrals, medical assistance and other measures that value people – both born and unborn."

Pro-choice advocates denounce ruling, say forcing someone to carry a pregnancy will have 'life-altering consequences'

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz vowed to veto any abortion bans sent to his desk and said in a statement Friday, "reproductive rights are on the ballot in November, and the stakes could not be higher."

U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said in a statement Friday that "this is a terrible day for America" and said the overturning of Roe v. Wade eliminated the right of American women to make decisions about their own individual autonomy.

More:St. Cloud-area women share stories of abortion, miscarriage following Roe v. Wade reversal

"This activist Supreme Court — and the Republican Senators and President who put them there — have gutted that right, because they think they know better than American women, whose lives and stories they will never know. How dare they?" she said. “The Republicans who brought us to this point are dramatically outside the mainstream of American views, and they need to explain why they believe they should have this power over women. In the meantime, I won’t stop until safe, reliable access to abortion care is again a guaranteed right.”

More:Central Minnesotans tell their stories, react to possibility Roe v. Wade could be overturned

The Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement Friday that the Supreme Court issued a "shameful ruling" which will "allow anti-abortion politicians to ban abortion in states across the country, which will force countless people to remain pregnant and give birth against their will."

The nonprofit said as half the states are expected to ban abortion, this will deny 36 million women and others who can become pregnant the right to decide whether and when to become a parent.

Hundreds gather at the Stearns County Courthouse to rally for pro-choice legislation and listen to local stories on May 14, 2022.
Hundreds gather at the Stearns County Courthouse to rally for pro-choice legislation and listen to local stories on May 14, 2022.

"Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, derailing educational and career plans, and making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner. This decision could also lead to people who have abortions or who miscarry being subject to suspicion, investigation, and arrest, and patients and doctors being thrown in jail," the Minnesota ACLU said.

“Today’s ​Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade is an attack on the fundamental rights of people ​in Minnesota and across the country to receive the health care they need and overturns almost 50 years of judicial precedent," said Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina) in a statement Friday. “Let's be clear: abortion is healthcare, and that remains true for Minnesotans even after this radical decision. Minnesotans deserve the right to make decisions about their own bodies guided by the medical advice of their doctors, not by the decisions of politicians … Minnesota has been a national leader in reproductive freedom, and we must continue to lead today by protecting fundamental rights. We must not and will not go back.”

Becca Most is a cities reporter with the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-241-8213 or bmost@stcloudtimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at @becca_most

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This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Roe v. Wade reversal: Minnesota Republicans celebrate, DFL decries