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Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

Minnesota allows women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care to obtain public funds for abortion:  (1) to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, physical injury, or a physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself; (2) if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest; (3) for health/therapeutic reasons.  Minn. Dep't of Human Servs., Minnesota Health Care Programs Provider Manual, ch. 10, p. 27 (Sept. 26, 2013), at

Unconstitutional and unenforceable statutes and an administrative rule prohibit public funds for abortion unless:  (1) two physicians certify that the procedure is medically necessary to preserve her life; (2) the pregnancy is the result of criminal conduct and the incident is reported within 48 hours after the victim becomes physically able to report the crime; or (3) the pregnancy is the result of incest and the incident and relative are reported to a valid law-enforcement agency for investigation.  Minn. Stat. Ann. § 256B.0625 (subd. 16) (Original Statute Enacted 1967; Relevant Provision Enacted 1978; Last Amended 1987); Minn. R. § 9505.0235(subp. 2).

A court held that the provisions limiting abortion coverage to life endangerment, rape, and incest, while permitting the use of funds for childbirth medical services, violate the Minnesota constitution and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting their enforcement.  Women of Minn. v. Gomez, 542 N.W.2d 17 (Minn. 1995).

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