When EVERY abortion regulation is threatened…

Life Legal filed a motion to intervene today in a lawsuit that threatens virtually every state restriction on abortion.[i] Minneapolis attorney Sam Diehl filed the motion in Minnesota District Court on behalf of the Minnesota State Senate, arguing Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s outspoken support for abortion and his alliances with pro-abortion groups raise serious questions about his ability to be objective and vigorously defend laws that protect unborn children. 

Last May, the pro LGBTQ group “Gender Justice” filed suit to strike down a slate of long-standing abortion regulations, alleging that “Minnesota’s laws concerning abortion…have become outdated…and reflect antiquated views about women’s role in society.” By this they mean that “there is an emerging recognition in society that not all people who may become pregnant identify as women.”  

Gender Justice wants to do away with such common-sense provisions as:

  • 24-hour waiting period before abortion
  • Parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion
  • Humane and dignified disposal of aborted fetal remains
  • Medically accurate information about fetal development
  • Informed consent forms

The timing of the lawsuit is significant, as it was filed shortly after former Congressman Keith Ellison took his seat as Minnesota’s Attorney General. While in Congress, Ellison cosponsored many pro-abortion bills, including the Women’s Health Protection Act—an attempt to abolish ultrasound requirements, important safety measures for chemical abortion drugs, informed consent provisions regarding fetal development, prohibitions on late-term abortion, and other state and federal abortion regulations. Ellison has a 100% voting record with Planned Parenthood and was endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America and other abortion lobbyists.

As Attorney General, Ellison has filed numerous amicus briefs urging federal courts of appeal and the Supreme Court to strike down regulations on abortion.[i]i He also joined in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after HHS changed federal Title X regulations to keep abortionists from using federal taxpayer funds to facilitate abortion.

While Ellison has said he would defend the Minnesota laws, his outspoken support for abortion and his alliances with pro-abortion groups raise serious questions about his ability to be objective and vigorously defend laws that protect unborn children. During his 2018 campaign for Attorney General, Ellison said that if he were asked to defend laws that conflicted with what he finds to be “a right to reproductive health in the Minnesota constitution and the federal constitution,” he “wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Also troubling is Ellison’s close relationship with Gender Justice. In January 2019, at the same time Keith Ellison was sworn in as Attorney General, his former congressional staffer Erin Maye Quade was hired as Gender Justice’s Advocacy Director. Ellison has also submitted amicus briefs in support of cases that Gender Justices is litigating.

A robust defense of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions could land Ellison in hot water with the Democratic Attorney Generals Association (DAGA), which announced that starting in 2020 it would only fund candidates who publicly commit to expanding access to abortion. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest contributors to DAGA.

We are intervening in the case because of these significant conflicts of interest. The laws at stake were duly enacted by representatives of the people. The people of Minnesota have the right to a robust and knowledgeable defense of these longstanding protections for women and unborn children.


[i] Notice of Intervention, Senate Memorandum in Support of Intervention

[i]i Mississippi: Press Release, Amicus Brief; Kentucky: Press Release, Amicus Brief; Louisiana: Amicus Brief; Alabama: Amicus Brief; Arkansas: Amicus Brief; North Carolina: Amicus Brief; Missouri: Article, Amicus Brief