MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorney General Keith Ellison said Thursday that he won't appeal a ruling that struck down most of Minnesota's restrictions on abortion as unconstitutional, saying the state has already spent enough time and money on the case and is unlikely to win an appeal anyway.
Ellison, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, called his decision “in the public interest and ... the right legal decision.”
Top anti-abortion activist slams GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking the physical appearance of pro-abortion rights protestors
Gaetz characterized abortion rights protestors as "5-foot-2 and 350 pounds" and said "nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb."And the president of a major anti-abortion group, Marjorie Dannenfelser, has had enough of it.
Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan on July 11 overturned a series of restrictions on abortion over the years, including a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and a requirement that both parents be notified before a minor can get an abortion.
He also eliminated a rule that only physicians can perform abortions, a move expected to eventually ease access to abortion in the state, which has become an island of legal abortion in the Upper Midwest.
Video: AG Ellison won’t appeal ruling that struck down most abortion restrictions (CBS Minnesota)
Abortion opponents and the Republicans hoping to unseat Ellison in November's election had demanded that he appeal the ruling, saying he was obligated to do so as the state's top law enforcement officer.
The Supreme Court will likely enter new territory on abortion rights as thorny questions over rape, interstate travel, and data privacy roil the country
"There are major, important questions yet to be addressed," one legal expert said. "The court still has a lot of work to do in this area."Roe v. Wade, which established a federal right to abortion nearly 50 years ago, was an "abuse of judicial authority" that "sparked a national controversy," Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the monumental June 24 ruling, wrote in the majority opinion.
In his statement Thursday, Ellison said his office had spent $600,000 defending the laws over three years of litigation. He also noted that an appeal would put the case back before Gilligan, the same judge who invalidated the laws.
“I have made clear throughout that my personal view has been that the challenged laws were not good public policy,” he said. “I have nonetheless vigorously defended those laws.”
Minnesota abortion providers had already been seeing a surge from as far away as Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama even before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade late last month. They say it’s too early to speculate as to how much Monday’s decision might accelerate that, but they agree it will greatly help them cope.
One month post-Roe and abortion clinics are being forced to shutter .
Story at a glance New data reveals many abortion clinics across 11 states that have either banned or restricted abortion have been forced to close down. Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, there were 71 clinics across those 11 states that were still providing abortion care. By July 24, one month after the…Data collected by the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion policy and advocacy group, found that the number of clinics offering abortion care dropped sharply in states that implemented a total or six-week abortion ban in the first month following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.