Decision affirms over 20 years of state Supreme Court precedent
(PRESS RELEASE) The Minnesota Court of Appeals today upheld a district court decision which dismissed a conservative legal group’s discriminatory efforts to end state insurance coverage of medically-necessary abortion services for low-income women in Minnesota.
In November 2013, the Center for Reproductive Rights, along with Minnesota-based non-profit Gender Justice, filed an amicus brief in the Minnesota Court of Appeals in Walker v. Jesson—a state lawsuit filed in November 2012 by the conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom seeking to end state insurance coverage of medically-necessary abortion services for low-income women in Minnesota. The brief was filed on behalf of Pro-Choice Resources, a Minnesota reproductive justice organization that helps provide funding to low-income women seeking abortions. Pro-Choice Resources had previously sought to intervene in this case in February 2013.
Said Stephanie Toti, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“For over 20 years, Minnesota has guaranteed every woman equal and affordable access to a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion services. Today’s decision serves as a strong affirmation that a woman’s ability to access constitutionally-protected health care services should not depend on her income level or insurance coverage.”
In the early 1990s, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit, Doe v. Gomez, on behalf of Pro-Choice Resources and other Minnesota reproductive rights and health organizations to change Minnesota state law prohibiting state insurance plans from covering abortion services even when necessary to preserve a woman’s health. And in 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that denying insurance coverage for medical services related to therapeutic abortions infringes on a woman’s fundamental rights under the state constitution.