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As MN Republicans explore abortion bills, DFL lawmakers form Reproductive Freedom Caucus

The caucus aims to promote and protect the reproductive rights of Minnesotans.

A group of Minnesota lawmakers has formed a new caucus in an effort to protect the reproductive rights of all Minnesotans. 

Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate announced the new Reproductive Freedom Caucus on Friday. The move comes as some Republicans in Minnesota are pursuing proposals similar to the new Texas abortion law, which bans almost all abortions after 6 weeks. Among the proposals Minnesota Republicans are pushing for is the "heartbeat bill" from Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, who said Monday he favors "banning abortion outright," but says "heartbeat bills are a great place to start."

"The extreme, dangerous abortion ban in Texas and legislation pursued by Minnesota Republicans make it clear that reproductive freedom is at great risk," House Speaker Melissa Hortman said in a news release. "Minnesotans should be able to make our own reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians. This caucus will stand up for, defend, and work to expand reproductive rights in Minnesota."

The new caucus is the first at the Minnesota Legislature specifically organized to support reproductive health care and a woman's right to have an abortion, KTOE reports.  

“Fundamental rights like reproductive health care should not be threatened. Yet that is exactly what’s happening due to the extreme legislation being proposed and passed throughout the country,” Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen said in a statement. “This caucus and its members are united in our belief and our commitment that this fundamental right must be honored and protected.”

Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, and Sen. Jen McEwen, DFL-Duluth, are among those on the caucus. They co-sponsored the Protect Reproductive Freedoms Act, which they introduced in February. The proposal would protect Minnesotans' right to contraception, right to carry a pregnancy to term and the right to an abortion.

“As a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, I see every day how critical sexual and reproductive health care is to the lives of Minnesotans,” Rep. Morrison said in a statement. “As a doctor, it's my job to care for my patients no matter what. As a legislator, I pledge to work for the health and futures of Minnesotans. We must protect and expand access to the care people need here in Minnesota so that they can live healthy and thriving lives.”

The lawmakers on the Reproductive Freedom Caucus are: 

  • Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn
  • Rep. Connie Bernardy
  • Rep. Liz Boldon
  • Rep. Heather Edelson
  • Rep. Mike Freiberg
  • Rep. Aisha Gomez
  • Rep. Alice Hausman
  • Rep. Athena Hollins
  • Rep. Frank Hornstein
  • Rep. Mike Howard
  • Rep. Erin Koegel
  • Rep. Fue Lee
  • Rep. Todd Lippert
  • Rep. Kelly Morrison
  • Rep. Zach Stephenson
  • Rep. Ami Wazlawik
  • Rep. Kaela Berg
  • Rep. Kristin Bahner
  • Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn
  • Rep. Carlos Mariani
  • Rep. Jay Xiong 
  • Rep. Kelly Moller
  • Rep. Jamie Long
  • Rep. Liz Olson
  • Rep. Andrew Carlson
  • Rep. Dave Pinto
  • Rep. Jim Davnie
  • Rep. Liz Reyer
  • Rep. Sandra Feist
  • Rep. Sydney Jordan
  • Rep. Liz Bolden
  • Rep. Patty Acomb
  • Rep. Heather Keeler
  • Rep. Ginny Klevorn
  • House Speaker Melissa Hortman
  • Sen. Jen McEwen
  • Sen. Lindsey Port
  • Sen. Mary Kunesh
  • Sen. Erin Murphy
  • Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart
  • Sen. Melissa Wiklund
  • Sen. Chuck Wiger
  • Sen. Jason Isaacson
  • Sen. John Marty
  • Sen. Scott Dibble
  • Sen. Karla Bigham
  • Sen. Ann Rest
  • Sen. Omar Fateh
  • Sen. Steve Cwodzinski
  • Sen. Nick Frentz
  • Sen. Patricia Torres Ray
  • Sen. Chris Eaton
  • Sen. Matt Klein
  • Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen

You can watch the full news conference here:

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