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Here's what Minnesota leaders are saying about the leaked Supreme Court opinion on abortion

Politico on Monday night released a leaked opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that showed a majority of justices were preparing to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

People crowd the rotunda of the State Capitol in St. Paul during a Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life rally on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, the 45th anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973 Roe V. Wade decision from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding abortion. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
People crowd the rotunda of the State Capitol in St. Paul during a Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life rally on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, the 45th anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding abortion.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — Minnesota leaders are speaking out following the news that the U.S. Supreme Court in a draft opinion planned to overturn the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.

After Politico published the leaked opinion on Monday night, May 2, policymakers and advocates began weighing in. Here's what they said:

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

"It is a fundamental right for a woman to make her own health decisions," the Minnesota Democrat wrote on Twitter. "We must protect the right to choose and codify Roe v Wade into law."

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith

"This is bulls---," Smith said in a tweet from her campaign account that included the Politico story. The Democrat also tweeted, "Roe v. Wade is gone. The Supreme Court is abandoning the right to an abortion. That’s real. We have to organize — I’ll be right there on the front lines with you."

Gov. Tim Walz

"Not on my watch," Minnesota's governor tweeted Monday evening. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor's reelection campaign also put out a statement noting that the field of GOP gubernatorial hopefuls supports blocking access to abortion.

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Minnesota could become an island for abortion access in the Midwest if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

"Abortion is a fundamental right and the #WalzFlanagan team will do everything in our power to protect access to reproductive health care," Flanagan tweeted from her campaign account. "Our rights are on the line. Abortion is on the ballot this November. Let’s get to work."

Scott Jensen

Jensen, a Republican seeking the party endorsement in his run for governor, responded to Walz's tweet and wrote, "It took Tim Walz days to respond to the riots but just a couple minutes to fire off a 'not on my watch' tweet about abortion. It’s time to return real leadership to Minnesota!"

Neil Shah

Shah, another Republican running for governor, also responded to Walz's tweet and said, "On my watch."

Attorney General Keith Ellison

"Our worst fears are being realized," Ellison (DFL) wrote on Twitter. "But this fight is far from over. I will always defend a person's right to choose. As long as DFLers are in charge, there will never be an abortion ban in MN. We’re about to be in the fight of our lifetimes for reproductive freedom."

Tad Jude

Tad Jude, a GOP candidate for attorney general, on Twitter said he'd carried several bills aimed at restricting abortion and would "protect the unborn, always." He also raised concerns about the leak of the court opinion.

"Leaking a draft opinion of the Supreme Court destroys trust, and undermines justice," Jude said. "This is intent on creating mob rule to influence an outcome. I’ve had protestors outside my home before. Public opinion should never interfere with the courts."

DFL Chair Ken Martin

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin on Twitter said Minnesota could become an island in the region in terms of access to abortion and urged support for DFL candidates.

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"Every. F---ing. Election. Has. Consequences! Wake up, do the work, fight for what we believe in," he wrote. "Every generation has to fight these fights anew as no right in this country is guaranteed."

Planned Parenthood North Central States

The regional wing of Planned Parenthood issued a news release noting that abortion remains legal and its clinics would continue abortion services, along with other health services. And the group urged action to defend the right to an abortion.

"We will not accept this decision without a fight — we are ready and will mobilize, organize, and stand up in every corner of our land," Planned Parenthood North Central States President and CEO Sarah Stoesz said. "Our voices will be heard. And Planned Parenthood will never, ever abandon our patients. Planned Parenthood is here for good.”

Minnesota Family Council

The Minnesota Family Council said it rejoiced at the news that the court was considering overturning the Roe v. Wade decision.

"The demise of Roe v. Wade is not the end, but the beginning. After fifty years of destructive partisan conflict, it is an opportunity to show each woman and each child that we value them," the group said in a statement. "It is an opportunity to create a nation where abortion is unthinkable."

Gender Justice

Gender Justice, an advocacy group that brought a lawsuit against the state in an effort to repeal restrictions on abortion, said the right to abortion in Minnesota would remain intact but the opinion could spur an influx of new patients from other states.

"Many patients in neighboring states and across the country will soon look to Minnesota and other states without abortion bans in place to seek the essential healthcare they need," Megan Peterson, the group's executive director, said.

"Our 8 clinics will see unprecedented increase in demand for abortion care," Peterson continued. "They need our support now more than ever. Abortion care is vital health care and must be available to anyone who needs it, wherever they live, whoever they are, however much they make."

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MORE FROM DANA FERGUSON:
Several incumbent state legislators, particularly in the Senate, edged out competitors with more extreme views on COVID-19, election security and more.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email  dferguson@forumcomm.com.

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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