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Minnesota Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is legal in Minnesota subject to a mandatory 24-hour waiting period until the fetus is viable. After the fetus is viable, abortion is available to preserve the life of the mother.

Introduction

In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court recognized a right to abortion under the state constitution in Doe v. Gomez. Although the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, abortion remains available in Minnesota under Gomez

Minnesota Abortion Laws at a Glance

Minnesota abortion laws are not as restrictive as many other states, but they do require the informed consent of the mother (i.e. mandatory counseling about the medical risks of abortion), followed by a 24-hour waiting period. The mandatory counseling session also requires the patient to learn about whether the fetus will experience pain and other information that critics say is meant to discourage women from seeking abortions.

Additional details about Minnesota's abortion laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Reproductive Rights section (which includes a subsection on Abortion) to learn more.

Code Section 145.411 to 424 and 617.20 to 22
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Failure to meet standards of legal abortion; sale or manufacture of drug, substance, or instrument intended for unlawful use in miscarriage or abortion procedure; act, procedure, or use of any instrument, medicine, or drug which is supplied, prescribed for, or administered to a pregnant woman which results in the termination of pregnancy
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Before viability, by a trained M.D. After viability, must be performed in the hospital and necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother and the procedure used will reasonably assure live birth. After the 20th week, 2nd M.D. must be immediately accessible for any resulting live birth
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Felony
Consent Requirements Informed consent of mother after mandatory counseling (medical risks, etc.), followed by a 24-hour waiting period
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D., and licensed abortion facility or hospital if after the first trimester

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Minnesota health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Minnesota Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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