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Minnesota Abortion Action Coalition demands no state funding for ‘crisis pregnancy centers’

By Whitney Wildman |
September 18, 2022
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Protest outside of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s residence
Protest outside of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s residence demands end to state funding for "crisis pregnancy centers." (Photo by Brad Sigal)

Saint Paul, MN - On September 16, the newly formed Minnesota Abortion Action Coalition (MNAAC) held its second action outside of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s residence. MNAAC demanded that state officials put an end to state funding for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and other manipulative, anti-abortion organizations throughout the state. Since 2005, the state of Minnesota has spent $3.4 million per year on CPCs.

CPCs are “clinics” that claim to offer medical services for pregnant individuals, yet they rarely have any trained medical professionals on staff. CPCs offer misleading or simply false medical information regarding birth control, sexual health and abortion – while using religiously-charged propaganda to manipulate vulnerable individuals out of having an abortion. In Minnesota, crisis pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics 11 to 1, a major discrepancy, especially considering Minnesota’s new role as a “sanctuary state” for out-of-state people looking for safe reproductive medical services since the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Despite rainy weather, about 40 Minnesota residents stood outside Walz’s home holding signs that read, “Fund abortion not fake clinics” and “Say no to state funds for crisis pregnancy centers.” Emcee Olivia Crull began the rally by chanting, “When abortion rights are under attack, what do we do?” The crowd enthusiastically answered, “Stand up, fight back!” Cars driving by honked in support as speeches began.

MNAAC invited speakers from across Twin Cities movements to speak. Katherine Gould from Climate Justice Committee spoke about the way climate justice intersects with the many other progressive movements in the Twin Cities. She illustrated the ways that oppressed nationality, immigrant and working-class individuals bear the brunt of climate change, due to environmental racism and class oppression. Environmental problems cause significantly higher health problems in these populations, and this makes healthcare in general, including reproductive healthcare, so critical to these oppressed groups.

Celia Nimz, a representative of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, brought up the fact that, as one of the few states in the Midwest that still protects abortion access, Minnesota should be pushing funds into expanding reproductive access in the state. Nimz stated, “Crisis pregnancy centers are at the center of this, as they take state funding that should go to abortion.”

Linden Gawboy of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark, Ren Wischmann from Students for a Democratic Society, and David Gilbert Pederson of Minnesota Workers United also spoke in support of an end to state funding for CPCs. In addition to the groups speaking, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) also endorsed this rally.

Ashley Taylor-Gougé of the Anti-War Committee declared, “Anti-war outrage ended the draft in 1973, and the Supreme Court made the Roe v. Wade decision that same year. We did not win those battles peacefully, and we didn't win them with just one action. Without boots on the ground, there would have been no pressure to make real change. When our lives are on the line, we must fight.”

MNAAC’s next public event will be new members meeting on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:30 p.m. at 4200 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. At that meeting, MNAAC members will plan future protests and actions for abortion rights.