ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is one of 16 state governors calling on the U.S. Senate to codify the legal protections of Roe v. Wade into law.
This comes the same week as a Politico report that shared a leaked draft of the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion, showing the justices appearing to be on the verge of overturning the 1973 ruling.READ MORE: Thousands Gather At Pro-Abortion Rights Rally In St. Paul
“Let me be clear: there will never be an abortion ban in Minnesota under my watch. The right to an abortion will be respected in our state as long as I am in office. However, we must act at the state and federal level to protect access to safe, legal abortion permanently,” Walz said. “This is just the beginning, and I will keep fighting to ensure Minnesotans continue to have full access to reproductive health care.”
In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the state’s constitution protects Minnesotans’ right to an abortion. Attorney General Keith Ellison, speaking earlier this week, said that even if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade, that wouldn’t change the law in Minnesota.
The state is preparing for the potential impact from neighboring states that, many say, would either immediately or shortly thereafter no longer allow abortion, such as Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.READ MORE: Minnesota Senate Dems Try To Force Abortion Debate
“What that means for us in Minnesota is we have been fortifying delivery systems for some time now so we can be ready to welcome what we believe could be anywhere up to 25% percent or more patients,” Minnesota Planned Parenthood president and CEO Sarah Stoesz said.
The final ruling from the court is expected well before the end of the court’s term in late June or early July, potentially as early as this month.
The U.S. House of Representatives last September passed the Women’s Health Protection Act. The U.S. Senate would now need to hold a vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion in law.MORE NEWS: Police Ask Public's Help In Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Office Arson Investigation
The issue is expected to become the focus in this year’s elections.