A month after Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion rights advocates see 'cascading effects' in Minnesota

It's been a month since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. The past 30 days have brought a rollercoaster of emotions for many people who support and oppose abortion rights.

More than a dozen states have ended nearly all abortion services, but others — including Minnesota — have worked to strengthen abortion protections. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Minnesota became an island for legal abortion in the upper Midwest.

"Even leading up to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we saw an increase in demand here in Minnesota because people needed places to go where they could safely get abortion care," said Jess Braverman, legal director for the St. Paul-based organization Gender Justice.

Clinics in Minnesota have been busy as they field calls from patients out of state. A Duluth-based clinic is reporting their extra patient load includes people who've struggled to get fast appointments in the Twin Cities, where five of Minnesota's seven clinics are located.

Braverman said that demand isn't the only immediate effect of the court's decision.

"We're seeing a lot of cascading effects of not just people who want or need abortion care, but people who need miscarriage care, people who need other medications that may incidentally impact pregnancy. It's kind of a healthcare crisis," she said.

In the days following the Supreme Court's decision, anti-abortion rights group Pro-Life Action Ministries said the court "corrected a terrible miscarriage of justice." However, they said, the ruling was only the beginning, and they feel they have more work to do.

Gender Justice is also concerned about the financial burden for the people traveling to Minnesota to get abortions.

"People are going to have to … get on planes, get on buses, get on trains. Not everyone has access to a car. Not everyone can pay for gas. We know what gas costs right now," Braverman said.

Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order protecting providers and people who travel here to get abortions. The governor also said he won't honor requests to extradite people who are accused of abortion-related acts that are legal in Minnesota.

This ruling also raised the stakes for November's midterm election across the country.