Jason Adkins, executive director with the Minnesota Catholic Conference, characterized the laws as "common-sense regulations are consistent with the state's interest in promoting informed consent and the health and safety of women who undergo abortions."
"Ultimately, this lawsuit, challenging common-sense laws that do not prevent anyone from actually procuring an abortion, demonstrates the desire to suppress conscience and the truth," Adkins told CNA Nov. 1. "Abortion proponents want to keep information about the reality of abortion out of sight from patients and the public lest its harms be exposed and both choose differently."
The coalition backing the lawsuit, called Unrestrict Minnesota, includes several self-described feminist and women's health advocacy groups, ACLU Minnesota, the labor union affiliate AFSCME Council 5, the Asian American Organizing Project, and the National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota.
"Minnesota's abortion restrictions are medically unnecessary and legally untenable," said Megan Peterson, executive director of Gender Justice, another member of the coalition. She said the 1995 state Supreme Court decision upheld "basic rights to privacy and personal decision-making."
Solicitor General Liz Kramer made procedural objections to the lawsuit, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
"One of the things that makes this case different than every other abortion case cited by the parties is how long these statutes have been on the books. The plaintiffs have challenged 13 different statutes," she said.
These laws have been in effect from 11 years to 111 years.
Kramer argued that plaintiffs failed to show concrete harm as a result of the defendants' action.
The Unrestrict Minnesota website claims that state lawmakers have been "quietly passing laws that restrict abortion access, intimidate providers and patients, and increase costs."
Among other rules, the lawsuit targets a number of Minnesota's requirements for obtaining an abortion, including "Woman's Right to Know," which ensures informed consent prior to an abortion; its two-parent notification requirement for patients under 18; its prohibition of non-physicians performing abortions; and the requirement of hospital settings for abortions performed after 16 weeks.
The laws require that doctors who provide abortions talk about the risks of abortion, alternatives to abortion, the possibility of pain to an unborn child during an abortion, the availability of medical assistance to women and a man's obligation to provide child support.
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The lawsuit also seeks to end data collection on abortions and requirements for fetal remains be buried or cremated instead of being treated as medical waste.
Data collection questions can "feel intrusive and stigmatizing and are an invasion of privacy," Unrestrict Minnesota argued. The coalition website particularly objects to Minnesota Department of Health reporting on a patient's race, marital status and county of residence.
Adkins, the Minnesota Catholic Conference executive director, further explained his opposition to the lawsuit.
"The lawsuit is an unfortunate, saddening attack on solid, bipartisan legislation that protects women and children, ensures that people make the decision with informed consent, and makes sure that human remains aren't put in the trash," he said.
"This lawsuit is meritless, and should be thrown out consistent with the normal course of judicial decision making," said Adkins. "But with abortion, the normal rules of adjudication don't apply-a phenomenon known as the 'abortion distortion.' We should not assume that they will be upheld, and the attorney general's office has a duty to provide zealous advocacy on their behalf."
"We have a tradition in Minnesota of judicial elections being about temperament and experience, and not issues," he added. "I don't think there is a big desire among most in the judiciary to politicize our courts. This case will be a barometer of whether that culture still holds."