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ST. PAUL, Minnesota (LifeSiteNews) — A Minnesota judge gutted many of the state’s pro-life protections on Monday, declaring that laws restricting abortion access violate the Minnesota constitution.
In a July 11 decision in response to a lawsuit brought by a pro-abortion group, Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Gilligan declared that the state could no longer enforce its mandatory 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, or its rule that both of a minor girl’s parents must be notified before she can abort her unborn child, the Associated Press reported.
NEWS: A Ramsey County judge has ruled several of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions — including parental notification and the 24-hour waiting period — violate the state constitution and ordered them not to be enforced. pic.twitter.com/pp9pRhey2X
— Theo Keith (@TheoKeith) July 11, 2022
Gilligan, who had been appointed by pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014, also ruled that Minnesota’s laws prohibiting second and third trimester abortions outside of hospitals and barring anyone but physicians from performing abortions were unconstitutional.
The Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled in Doe v. Gomez (1995) that the state constitution protected a “right” to an abortion. Minnesota law currently permits abortion up to “fetal viability,” or about 24-26 weeks’ gestation, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
In what the AP called “about the only victory for supporters of the restrictions,” the Democrat-appointed judge on Monday “let stand the state’s data reporting requirements” for abortionists.
However, the outlet noted that he simultaneously cut back the penalty for failure to report abortion data by eliminating a provision that made such omissions a felony.
The ruling came just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Court returned the right to regulate abortion back to the states by fully overturning Roe v. Wade (1973). The monumental ruling rolled back 49 years of precedent that had established a “constitutional right to abortion” throughout the nation.
In response, pro-life states have moved to enact laws defending the unborn, and pro-abortion states have broadened access to abortion and openly encouraged women to travel from pro-life states to kill their unborn babies.
According to the AP, the Minnesota judge’s decision came as abortionists in the state “have been preparing for a surge in patients from neighboring upper Midwest states, and even farther away, where abortion has become illegal or is expected to become restricted.”
However, the outlet pointed out that the Minnesota judge found the pro-life laws violated the state’s constitution, not the federal constitution.
In Gilligan’s ruling, he took a swipe at the pro-life 5-4 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, writing that “Unlike the Dobbs Court, which threw out nearly fifty years of precedent, this court must respect the precedent set by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Gomez and that precedent will guide this court’s decisions in this case.”
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s major pro-life organization, blasted Gilligan’s decision to overturn nearly all protections for the unborn in a Monday statement .
“The laws challenged in this case are common sense measures that support and empower pregnant women,” the group said in its statement, according to the AP.
“Today’s ruling striking them down is extreme and without a foundation in the Minnesota Constitution. It blocks Minnesotans from enacting reasonable protections for unborn children and their mothers,” MCCL said.
The Minnesota judge’s decision comes as many state legislatures and judiciaries fight over abortion-related laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The new political landscape has even meant that some antiquated pro-life laws, made unenforceable after Roe, have once again become the law of the land.
In West Virginia, for example, an 1849 pro-life law that pre-dated West Virginia’s own statehood has now become enforceable, enabling law enforcement to protect the unborn and impose criminal charges on abortionists. In Texas, the state Supreme Court this month approved enforcement of the Lone Star State’s 1925 abortion ban.
It’s estimated that more than half of all states will ultimately outlaw most abortions now that states once more have the authority to regulate abortion within their own borders.