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Minnesota

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 (September 2013), at http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/dhs16_137809#.

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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