If you’re in an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you may be wondering what laws are in place regarding when and how you can get an abortion. Here’s a rundown of the Minnesota abortion laws to be aware of as you process your decision. Compared with other states, the laws in Minnesota are fairly simple and straightforward.
The first law to be aware of if you’re seeking an abortion in Minnesota regards counseling before an abortion procedure. Women are required to receive state-mandated counseling before getting an abortion and then must wait 24 hours before their procedure.
The counseling happens at the abortion clinics and is intended to give you information about abortion and the possible side effects. The 24-hour waiting period is designed to provide you adequate time to consider your decision once you have all the facts.
Abortion is a serious medical procedure with many risks and potential side effects. This law is in place to ensure you have all the information you need to make a fully-informed choice.
Parental Notification for Minors
The next abortion law stipulates that parents of minors must be notified of the abortion prior to the abortion procedure. This is consistent with any other major medical procedure minors may have so that parents can sign off on the procedure with the child’s best interests in mind.
This law is also on the books to help prevent victims of rape, incest, or sex-trafficking under 18 years of age from being forced to have an abortion against their will. Requiring parental consent helps guard against women staying trapped in abusive situations.
Termination of pregnancy Prior to Viability
The last Minnesota abortion law states that abortions may not be performed after viability except when necessary to save the woman’s life. Abortion may also be performed after viability if continuing the pregnancy means the woman’s physical health will be severely compromised. Abortions after viability are rare.
In Minnesota, viability is set at 20 weeks gestation. A fetus is considered viable if doctors determine the fetus could survive outside the womb with or without artificial aid.
We hope this summary of Minnesota abortion laws is helpful as you consider your options for your unplanned pregnancy. If you have questions about these laws or about abortion in general, please reach out. We offer free and confidential counseling at the Robbinsdale Women’s Center to help provide more information about abortion and your other options.