Minnesota AG Ellison vows support in tour of new Red River Women’s Clinic
Running for reelection, Ellison spoke strongly in support of the clinic and a woman’s right to choose on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
MOORHEAD — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took a strong stance for abortion rights in Moorhead on Wednesday, Sept. 14, after touring the newly-relocated Red River Women's Clinic.
“I, as a person who believes a woman has a right to choose, was very pleased to see that the clinic is up and it’s functioning,” Ellison said.
Ellison, a vocal supporter of abortion rights, has also recently taken a strong stance against crisis pregnancy centers , which intentionally do not inform their clients that abortion is an option for them, according to Ellison.
He alleges that this, paired with their misleading information on contraceptives, can potentially harm Minnesotans and that they should be more honest and forthright with women. The crisis pregnancy centers currently receive funding from the State of Minnesota .
Fargo's crisis pregnancy center, the Women’s Care Center, is planning to expand with a new location in Moorhead because their business model is to stay as close to abortion provider locations as possible.
“My hope would be that they operate honestly and they tell people what it is that they are offering,” Ellison said in regards to the Women's Care Center.
A representative from the Women’s Care Center was unable to be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
The Attorney General's office will legally defend those who come to Minnesota for abortions from surrounding states, Ellison said, stating that he will file motions in those states to have cases against people seeking abortion services dismissed.
The attorney general said his office would support the new Moorhead clinic and "defend their rights" to continue offering abortion services.
Ellison is up for reelection this year. His opponent, Jim Schultz, has argued that the attorney general's office does not have a lot of sway over Minnesota's abortion policies .
Schultz has served on an anti-abortion nonprofit in the past and expressed views against abortion, but says that he wants the focus of his potential tenure as attorney general to focus on crime.
Abortion remains a legal healthcare option in Minnesota. In order to continue providing abortion services, the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion provider in North Dakota, needed to move across the river into Minnesota.
Ellison feels the new clinic location is a more accommodating space as the parking lot allows for more privacy, limiting interaction between regular clinic protesters and clients seeking services .
Litigation around the abortion ban in North Dakota is still ongoing . The clinic filed a lawsuit against North Dakota’s ban, which was meant to begin on July 28 after North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley certified the Supreme Court’s decision.
The clinic’s suit was upheld by Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick, who blocked the implementation of the ban until another court order overturns his decision or litigation of the case wraps up.
If the trigger law takes effect, performing an abortion would be a Class C felony in North Dakota, which means up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.