Codifying Reproductive Rights is the First Bill Introduced in 2023 Minnesota Legislative Session
Passing the Protect Reproductive Options Act (PRO Act) is a top priority
January 5, 2023
St. Paul, MN — As the 2023 Legislative session begins today in Minnesota, protecting reproductive freedom has become a top priority. The Protect Reproductive Options Act (PRO Act) would immediately codify reproductive rights into state law, including the right to an abortion and birth control.
“Codifying our rights into law is critical right now,” said Dr. Sarah Traxler, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Minnesota has become an island of abortion access in the upper Midwest, and we must protect the rights of Minnesotans to make their own reproductive health care decisions. The PRO Act gives Minnesotans control over their reproductive rights, which means control over their bodies and futures.”
The PRO Act protects the right to contraception, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, the right to fertility treatment, and the right to an abortion. It will ensure people are free to make their own reproductive health care decisions, not politicians or judges. The bill also protects reproductive rights at all levels of government in the state, meaning that a city or county cannot limit reproductive rights or abortion access.
On June 24th, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. Across the country, 18 states banned abortion, including neighboring state South Dakota. Regionally, Planned Parenthood North Central States (PPNCS) has seen a 13% increase from patients coming out of region for abortion care, and a 40% increase in second trimester abortions.
“First, we have to enshrine reproductive rights into state law,” said Dr. Sarah Traxler. “We have to protect reproductive rights. Then we will expand sexual and reproductive health care in Minnesota. We have the opportunity to remain the regional leader of sexual and reproductive health care, and it’s imperative that we do.”
Initially introduced in 2021, the PRO Act has the chance to pass both chambers for the first time in state history due to a pro-choice trifecta elected in November. Minnesotans made it clear that they expect elected officials to act and protect reproductive freedom.