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A western Minnesota town is considering a proposed ordinance that would give its residents the option to sue abortion providers or companies that send abortion drugs by mail.

The town of Prinsburg, with a population of just over 500 people, is located near Willmar in Kandiyohi County. The town doesn't currently have an abortion clinic, with the closest located nearly three hours away in Moorhead.

The proposed ordinance was introduced to the city council by outgoing state Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg), who now works for Pro-Life Ministries. The organization defines itself as "an interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to publicly defending the sanctity of human life."

The proposal is based on a Texas law passed in 2021 that allows private citizens to sue any provider or individual that assists with an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before a majority of people even realize they are pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood.

The Associated Press reported those who are successful in a lawsuit in Texas can collect a $10,000 reward from the defendant. 

The Prinsburg proposal states plaintiffs would be able to claim "statutory damages in an amount of not less than $100,000" from the defendant, along with having costs and attorney's fees covered.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sent a letter obtained by Bring Me The News, advising Prinsburg Mayor Roger Ahrenholz the town could face a lawsuit if it goes forward and pass the ordinance. 

"Any municipal ordinance which limits the fundamental rights of pregnant Minnesotans to receive an abortion is unconstitutional," Ellison wrote, referring to the 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in Doe V. Gomez. The case found the state constitution protects both the right to have an abortion and the right to decide to have an abortion. 

"All of us as elected officials swear to uphold Minnesota’s Constitution. I know that as Minnesota’s Chief Legal Officer, I will do everything within my power to protect Minnesotans’ constitutional rights, including the right to abortion."

A special city council meeting is planned for Friday, Dec. 2, to further address the proposal.

Roe v. Wade was overturned by the United States Supreme Court on June 24. In response, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said it won't do a "damn thing" to stop them from happening in the state. Minnesota officials, such as Walz, Ellison and outgoing Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, have stated they won't have state agencies assist with investigations or criminal proceedings stemming from people coming from other states for an abortion.

Bring Me The News reached out to Miller for comment but has not yet heard back.

To read the full proposal, click here.

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