Minneapolis makes it illegal to block entrances to abortion clinics

A woman holds a Planned Parenthood sign
People protest at an abortion rally in June. On Thursday, Minneapolis made it illegal to block entrances to abortion clinics.
Tim Evans for MPR News

An ordinance signed into law Thursday in Minneapolis prevents people from blocking access to healthcare facilities that provide abortion services.

Minneapolis City Council Member Elliott Payne said he's proud that the city is eliminating barriers to healthcare including both abortion services and other reproductive healthcare.

"When we talk about access to reproductive care, we're talking about abortion as healthcare, and that's a really hard decision to make, and it should be a person's right to make that choice,” Payne said.

The ordinance was introduced by Council Member Lisa Goodman, who said her staff has been working for months to craft language that could withstand legal challenges.

"And I'm really proud that everyone who has agreed to put their name on this resolution, to stand up for the fact that it's not just about passing laws, but about making sure that everyone has access,” said Goodman, who formerly served as executive of Minnesota NARAL, which advocates for reproductive choice.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed the ordinance into law Thursday afternoon.

The move comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, meaning abortion access is now up to states.

An executive order in the city this summer also prohibited Minneapolis staff from cooperating with states that take legal action against people seeking reproductive health services and healthcare providers.

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