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Leaders in the DFL Party and Planned Parenthood Call Out Anti-Choice Agenda of MN GOP Candidates for Governor


Today, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund held a press conference criticizing anti-choice records of the MN GOP candidates for governor and discussed what is at stake for reproductive health.

The recent Texas abortion ban and new threats to Roe v. Wade has reignited anti-choice legislators across the country and threatened access to abortion health care, including right here in Minnesota. State Rep. Tim Miller pledged to introduce an abortion ban in Minnesota during the next state legislative session and during the announcement of his candidacy, gubernatorial candidate Paul Gazelka signaled support for a 6 week abortion ban.

The attendees included Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund Tim Stanley, and Tippy Amundson, a Planned Parenthood patient.

A video of the press conference is available here. Below are excerpts from the press conference and information on the anti-choice records of the Republican candidates for Governor of Minnesota.

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan;

“While Governor Walz and I are in office, I can promise you, no attacks on reproductive freedom will ever become law in Minnesota. We understand that these are deeply personal choices for Minnesotans and frankly it’s not up to Paul Gazelka or other politicians to decide what people can do with their bodies. We value Minnesotans’ right to chose, to make their own decisions and their own health care choices with their doctors”

Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen;

“We also know reproductive rights are on the ballot because there are staunchly anti-abortion candidates running for governor right here in Minnesota. The biggest three Republican gubernatorial candidates, Paul Gazelka, Scott Jensen, and Michelle Benson, have records of attacking a woman’s right to choose and working to restrict access to abortion. I’ve worked alongside these Republican Senators for years, and I have no doubt they would not only sign a draconian, anti-choice bill into law – the three of them would actually probably lead the charge.”

Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Tim Stanley;

“Minnesota is not immune from attacks on abortion rights – in fact, extreme attacks on abortion rights. Already this biennium, anti-abortion politicians have introduced bills to fully ban abortion in Minnesota. In fact, bills to fully ban abortion have been introduced in the Minnesota House each of the last the legislature bienniums and these full abortion bans are on top of the numerous other bills introduced each year that add yet more medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access. This is why elections matter and why we need to support reproductive rights champions like Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, who will fight to protect and expand reproductive freedom for all Minnesotans.”

Tippy Amundson, a Planned Parenthood patient who found out that her baby could not live outside the womb, and that she could lose her reproductive system if she continued her pregnancy;

“I had an abortion, and the only reason I’m able to have children today is because of that abortion. Every woman, every family, and every pregnancy is different. Abortion is essential health care and everyone deserves the right to have the life they choose, when or if they have children is such an intimate and important decision. Everyone deserves it.”


Paul Gazelka

Michelle Benson

  • Michelle Benson authored legislation (2019’s Senate File 1609) that sought to ban most abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization.
  • Michelle Benson cosponsored a bill requiring that doctors offer to show an ultrasound image prior to an abortion if one was taken. (2017’s SF 2849).
  • Michelle Benson has co-sponsored (2021’s SF 1636) and voted for (2011’s SF 1921) bills that would place difficult, burdensome, and totally unnecessary regulations on abortion providers with the goal of making it harder to provide necessary reproductive health care.

Scott Jensen

  • Scott Jensen voted to institute a requirement that doctors offer to show an ultrasound image prior to an abortion if one was taken. (2017’s SF 2849).
  • Scott Jensen bragged on the campaign trail about his “perfect score” from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
  • Scott Jensen’s campaign website says he “believes in the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death.”