MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorney General Keith Ellison said Thursday he will not appeal a ruling that overturned most Minnesota restrictions on abortion as unconstitutional, saying the state has already spent enough time and money on the case and is unlikely to win an appeal anyway.
Ellison, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, called his decision “in the public interest and … the right legal decision.”
Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan on July 11 struck down a series of restrictions on abortion over the years, including a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and a requirement that both parents be notified before a minor can have an abortion.
It also eliminated a rule that only doctors can perform abortions, a move that is expected to eventually make abortion access easier in the state. which has become an island of legal abortion in the Upper Midwest.
Abortion opponents and Republicans hoping to unseat Ellison in the November election had demanded that he appeal the ruling, saying he was obligated to do so as the state’s top law enforcement officer.
In his statement Thursday, Ellison said his office had spent $600,000 defending the laws during three years of litigation. He also noted that an appeal would return the case to Gilligan, the same judge who struck down the laws.
“I have made it clear throughout that my personal opinion has been that the laws being challenged were not good public policy,” he said. “However, I have vigorously defended those laws.”
Minnesota Abortion providers had already been seeing an increase from as far away as Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama, even before the US Supreme Court. overturned Roe v. Wade at the end of last month. They say it’s too early to speculate on how much Monday’s decision might speed that up, but they agree it will go a long way in helping them weather the situation.