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Minnesota Abortion Laws

Abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade) in 1973, defining the rights of the mother and the interests of the state into three 12-week trimesters. The Court ruled that the state can't regulate the procedure in the first trimester beyond certain requirements that it be performed in a medically safe facility by a licensed physician. However, many states have placed additional legislative restrictions on abortion, resulting in a patchwork of drastically different state laws.

Some of the more common abortion restrictions include mandatory waiting periods between initial consultations and the procedure, mandatory ultrasounds; mandatory counseling about abortion and alternatives, licensing restrictions on facilities, and parental consent requirements. Some states, such as California, do not have these additional restrictions.

Minnesota Abortion Laws at a Glance

Minnesota abortion laws are not as restrictive as many other states, but they do require 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 is 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 (second half of gestation), must be performed in hospital and necessary to preserve life, health of mother and procedure used will reasonably assure live birth. After 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 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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