Walz Has Pledged to Protect Abortion Access, Scott Jensen Has Pledged to Ban It
September 23, 2022
ST. PAUL, MN – Ahead of the start of early voting this Friday, the Walz-Flanagan campaign will be highlighting the contrast between Governor Tim Walz’s vision for moving Minnesota forward and Republican gubernatorial ticket Scott Jensen and Matt Birk’s extreme and dangerous agenda. Jensen and Birk have both repeatedly pledged to ban abortion – with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. After several weeks of overwhelming backlash to their extreme position, the Jensen campaign was panned for its tortured attempts to downplay Jensen and Birk’s past promises to ban abortion.
Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, however, have always been champions for reproductive rights. Pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, and Women Winning have given the Walz-Flanagan campaign their support because they have always stood up for women, patients, and reproductive health care. Walz has also pledged to veto legislation that would ban or restrict abortion access in Minnesota.
Jensen has repeatedly affirmed his plans to ban abortions, including saying – verbatim – “We're [Birk and I] going to get something done when we're governor – we're going to ban abortions. That's really not news” and “I would try to ban abortion.”
Jensen’s campaign promises are affirmed by his long-record of anti-choice votes at the state Legislature. Jensen has repeatedly bragged about receiving a 100% rating from the anti-choice organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) – which also supports abortion bans without exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Jensen has also affirmed to MCCL in their questionnaire that he would sign take action to chip away at abortion rights.
In Birk, Jensen has found a vehement anti-choice activist as his running mate. On the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned, Birk compared abortion to slavery, accused abortion advocates of playing “the rape card,” joked about whether women should be able to drive, and said our culture “stealthily promotes abortion” by telling women they should have careers. Jensen later stood by Birk’s comments and his response to them. Birk has also said that “After the KKK, [Planned Parenthood] is the most racist organization in America.”
A governor can impact abortion access by appointing justices to the Minnesota Supreme Court, by campaigning for – or against – a constitutional amendment, or by signing legislation that would either outright ban abortion or merely chip away at abortion access.