U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan Emphasize U.S. Supreme Court’s Impact on Reproductive Health Care in Minnesota
For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2020 (Updated: Oct. 2, 2020, 9:08 p.m.)
The new Supreme Court will consider key cases that could take away Minnesotans’ health care coverage and threatens the right to abortion.
St. Paul, MN— The recent vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court puts Minnesotans’ health care and reproductive rights in jeopardy. Today Senator Tina Smith, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and leaders from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU had a discussion about the risks to Minnesotans if the Affordable Care Act or Roe v. Wade are overturned by the Supreme Court.
“Judge Barrett’s record of opposing the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade demonstrates that she is not qualified to safeguard our constitutional rights and liberties as a member of our nation’s highest court," said Senator Tina Smith. "Minnesotans are now facing a very real possibility of losing health care and reproductive rights. At a time when our country is grappling with entrenched health disparities and a pandemic, we must do all we can to protect health care in our state, including access to abortion.”
Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans gained health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, nearly 2.8 million Minnesotans rely on the preventive care that the ACA covers at no cost, like cancer screenings, annual exams and birth control. The ACA also provides crucial protections for health care—like ensuring that pregnancy can’t be considered a pre-existing condition and making sure young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. Arguments to overturn the entirety of the ACA begin in the Supreme Court just one week after the November election.
Additionally, 17 anti-abortion cases are one step away from the Supreme Court. The last two cases on abortion restrictions were decided by just one vote while Justice Ginsburg was on the Court. If Roe v. Wade were to fall, abortion access could be eliminated for an estimated 25 million people of reproductive age in the country.
“This fight isn’t just about those of us who have grown up under the umbrella of Roe for more than 50 years—it’s about my daughter and those who come after us who deserve the autonomy and freedom to make their own choices and build their futures,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “We need to protect access to reproductive health care in our state so that all Minnesotans can get the health care they need, when they need it, without interference from politicians or judges.”
More than 72,000 patients receive expert, non-judgmental reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood’s 18 Minnesota health centers each year. Planned Parenthood operates health centers in all corners of the state—from Bemidji to Willmar, from Duluth to Rochester, in addition to telehealth services statewide.
“Our patients rely on Planned Parenthood so they can get the crucial health services they need—and today we stand with our patients and communities to make our voices heard in this confirmation process,” said Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “The threats we’re facing are real. Health disparities for Black, Indigenous, and Minnesotans of color are unacceptable. Expanding health care access needs a sharp focus on equity for us to continue making real progress, while we also fend off attacks to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom.”
“The confirmation process put forth by the U.S. Senate is unnecessarily rushed, flawed and partisan,” said Nicole Moen, Board Chair of ACLU of Minnesota. “The implications of this confirmation will be with us for decades. A new justice should be confirmed after inauguration of the next president to avoid potentially tainting the high court’s legitimacy for years to come.”
Planned Parenthood North Central States and its subsidiary organizations provide, promote, and protect reproductive and sexual health through high-quality care, education and advocacy. A member of America’s most trusted reproductive health care provider, our affiliate is proud to support and operate 29 health centers across our five-state region (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota). Each year, we provide health care to nearly 115,000 people and health education to more than 99,000 people in our region.Watch the Virtual Press Conference