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What Would Overturning Roe V. Wade Mean For Minnesota And Surrounding States?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Abortion rights supporters and opponents in Minnesota were stunned this week by the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe V. Wade later this year.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) said the state is a "firewall" on the issue, which he called a matter of public health.

Even though the draft does not represent the court's final ruling, people across the country are reacting to the leak. From the federal courthouse in Minneapolis, to the Capitol in St. Paul, hundreds gathered across the Twin Cities Tuesday calling for the court to uphold Roe v. Wade.

"We've been fighting for women's rights since it started back in the 60s. Can't believe we're still doing this, but we're outraged," said pro-abortion rights supporter Joan Dauphinee.

But what would it mean if the 1973 decision was overturned when the high court makes its final ruling this summer? What would happen in Minnesota and surrounding states?

In Minnesota, abortion would remain legal. That's also true for states such as Iowa and Nebraska. However, abortion would become illegal in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, due to individual laws in those states.

Roe V. Wade graphic
(credit: CBS)

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) called the draft ruling "horrible."

"Suddenly, it's going to be such that people have to go across the border in order to get health care, that's just crazy," he said. "We're going to work to try to change it."

But Evers won't be able to override his state's Republican-controlled legislature.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) said that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it'd create chaos. She also predicted a reckoning at the polls come November.

"Women are going to go to vote in numbers we have never seen before, because we've never seen, in our lifetimes, such an overturning of major precedent as this," she said.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith (D), who was once the president of Minnesota Planned Parenthood, chided the high court's justices.

"How dare these Supreme Court justices tell us what we can and cannot do," she said. "This is a fundamental American value around freedom and autonomy."

On the other side, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life has long sought to restrict and ban abortions in Minnesota. The group's director, Scott Fischbach, hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's draft ruling and said that his members are thrilled.

"There is great excitement, a great anticipation," he said. "There's hopefulness, just this anticipation that something very monumental and something very big is about to happen."

Both sides say they are anxious for the final ruling, which will come out in either June or July.

While Democratic lawmakers will likely try to make abortion rights part of federal law, both Minnesota senators admit that there currently aren't enough votes in the Senate to do that.

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