Minnesota Court of Appeals rejects abortion challenge bid

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday rejected an attempt by the Traverse County prosecutor to appeal a judge's decision last year that threw out most of the state's restrictions on abortion as unconstitutional.

Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Gilligan ruled last July, in a lawsuit filed by abortion rights supporters, that Minnesota's restrictions - including a 24-hour waiting period and a parental notification requirement - violated the state constitution under a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling. Attorney General Keith Ellison angered abortion opponents when he declined to appeal, letting the decision stand.

RELATED: Minnesota moving to fortify state status as abortion refuge

The appeals court on Monday affirmed Gilligan's decision last September that Traverse County Attorney Matthew Franzese failed to meet the legal standards necessary to qualify to intervene in the case so that he could appeal Gilligan's original ruling himself.

Gilligan last month rejected an attempt to intervene by another third party, Mothers Offering Maternal Support, which had ties to anti-abortion groups, concluding that they filed their request too late and that they wouldn't have qualified anyway. Court records don't show that they've filed an appeal, and their attorneys didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature are moving to repeal the statutes that Gilligan declared unconstitutional and to fortify the state's status as a refuge for abortion patients from restrictive states.