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Supporters Say Threat To Reproductive Rights Growing In Minnesota And Nationwide

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Supporters of reproductive rights are warning their supporters that the threat to legal abortion is growing in Minnesota and across the country.

DFL activists point to a so-called "heartbeat bill" that has been introduced in the Minnesota House and an expected ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which they say threatens Roe vs. Wade. The court announced earlier this week that they will hear oral arguments on a Mississippi law beginning Dec. 1.

Tippy Amundsen talked about her abortion at a DFL news conference. Doctors told her the fetus had stopped developing and continuing the pregnancy would mean losing her uterus.

"Abortion is often referred to as a choice, but I didn't choose it. It was the only choice I had," Amundsen said.

Senate Minority Leader Melissa Lopez Franzen says abortion rights have never been more at risk. President Trump appointed three justices to the Supreme Court, making conservatives there the majority. Here at home, a bill is calling for a Texas-style ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected, estimated at around six weeks.

"This bill would take advantage of the anti-choice, anti-Roe Supreme Court majority by banning abortion before they even know they are pregnant," Lopez Franzen said.

Rep. Tim Miller is the author of that bill. He said, realistically, he does not expect passage because of Gov. Tim Walz.

"Walz has been very clear he is not going to sign any pro-life legislation whatsoever," Miller said.

Pro-abortion rights supporters agree Walz is a key supporter for their cause. They point out top Republicans running for Governor -- Sens. Michelle Benson, Paul Gazelka and former Sen. Scott Jensen have perfect 100% ratings from Minnesota's leading anti-abortion rights group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

"What we need is a pro-life governor," MCCL executive director Scott Fischbach said.

It may seem way to early to be thinking about the 2022 elections, but the fundraising and jockeying for your vote has already begun, with the issue of abortion very much front and center.

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