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Abortion ruling, and the rhetoric around it, reveals portrait of two separate Americas

Abortion in two Americas
Abortion in two Americas 02:40

MINNEAPOLIS -- Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling divided the nation on abortion, not just in public opinion but in access to abortion care. On Monday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined a group of nearly two dozen state attorneys general pledging to defend abortion rights.

From both the rhetoric and the reality in Minnesota, there's evidence that the ruling has truly divided the nation into two Americas.

More of Minnesota's top state and federal elected officials are firm supporters of abortion rights. Their rhetoric has been fiery.

"Not on our watch in Minnesota, not with this team that is here," Gov. Tim Walz said.

Walz and Ellison have both promised to extend protection beyond state boundaries.

"We will stand for every single person to the fullest extent of the law," Walz said.

Now the question is, can they really do that?

"We are closer to a gray area than we are in saying for certain that Minnesota can prevent extradition and prevent states from prosecuting," constitutional law professor Dr. David Schultz said.

Full Interview: Professor of constitutional law weighs in on SCOTUS rulings 08:34

Minnesota's most prominent group opposing abortion rights says prosecution is not what they want.

"We do not want to criminalize women. We want to show compassion towards them," Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life spokesperson Paul Stark said.

Planned Parenthood is projecting a large surge in those coming here for care -- anywhere from 10% to 25%, meaning patients potentially numbering in the thousands. But MCCL doesn't think that will ultimately happen.

"We don't foresee Minnesota becoming some sort of mecca that everyone is flocking to for abortions," Stark said.

Demonstrations on both sides of the issue in Minnesota have also been much smaller than expected. However, both sides do agree this Novmeber election for both federal offices and for state offices will be critical. Elections for governor, attorney general, and the state legislature could determine whether the status quo on abortions remains in place in Minnesota, or if we could see new restrictions enacted.

The latest numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health show of the 9,108 abortions performed in Minnesota in 2020; 859 where on women from others states.

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