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Minneapolis to become a 'safe haven' for reproductive health care after Frey signs executive order

The order prohibits any city employees from working with any states or jurisdictions pursuing legal action for someone who comes to Minneapolis for an abortion.
Credit: KARE

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an executive order on Wednesday to make the city a "safe haven" for people seeking abortions and reproductive health care.

The order, which was Frey's first since Minneapolis residents voted to restructure the city's government last November, prohibits any city resources be used to assist with any states or jurisdictions pursuing legal action for someone who comes to Minneapolis for an abortion.

"We will do everything in our power to make sure Minneapolis is and will always be a safe haven for anyone seeking an abortion,” Frey said in a statement. “We continue to work with local jurisdictions, experts, and advocates to expand support for reproductive rights – and to see how best each of our resources can be used. Whether you’re a Minneapolis resident or someone traveling half the country over to get basic healthcare, you will be protected in our city."

Frey, and other city officials, have been vocal about their intent to protect others seeking reproductive health care following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this year

Since the ruling, abortion is now banned in 10 states, including Wisconsin and South Dakota. Last week, a North Dakota judge temporarily blocked the state's trigger law banning abortion after the state's only abortion clinic filed a lawsuit arguing that it violates the state constitution.

Abortion remains legal in Minnesota because of a 1995 case Doe v. Gomez, in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Minnesota's state constitution protects abortion rights, and further required the state to cover costs for low-income patients.

“Today, Minneapolis ensures that we will continue to be a safe haven for women and everyone with a uterus to have safe, compassionate access to reproductive healthcare,” said City Council President Andrea Jenkins. “Reproductive rights, transgender/non-binary rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

According to a release, the order is exempt "if there is information required by statute, regulation, order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or lawfully issued judicial warrant of a court of competent jurisdiction."

"To be clear, we will not be assisting with investigations, we will not be furthering the work of other jurisdictions. There are instances when the law comes into play," said Frey in a press conference Wednesday.

"If there is a court order requiring otherwise, we have to comply with the court order, and we had to explicitly mention it within the executive order itself," Frey said during a press conference Wednesday. "Obviously, we have data practices requirements within the city, and that would be one example. However, the goal is to protect privacy as much as possibly can. Obviously, if there's a court order requiring otherwise, we have to comply with court order — that's not just the case in Minneapolis, that's every city in the entire country."

President Joe Biden also signed an executive order Wednesday that laid the groundwork for Medicaid to help women seeking abortions to travel between states to obtain access to the procedure.

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