New group starts longshot effort to reinstating Minnesota abortion restrictions

Conservatives have a new strategy for reinstating Minnesota's struck-down abortion restrictions. But first, they'll need a judge to let them join the case.

A group called Mothers Offering Maternal Support has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit over the abortion rules, one week after Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan said no to a similar request from the Traverse County attorney.

The group's lawyer said the women's case would be different from the one brought by Traverse County Attorney Matthew Franzese.

"We're not asserting the same arguments at all," attorney Teresa Collett, who has represented anti-abortion rights group in several cases over her career, said at a Tuesday morning news conference. "We're the real people that would be harmed."

Gilligan struck down several abortion restrictions in July after three years of litigation over a lawsuit from Gender Justice, a pro-abortion rights group. Among the laws Gilligan found unconstitutional: Minnesota's 24-hour waiting period, two-parent notification requirement, and a rule forcing providers to give their patients certain information before performing an abortion.

DFL Attorney General Keith Ellison said he would not appeal Gilligan's ruling. The state had already spent more than $600,000 on the case, and an appeal was not likely to change the outcome, Ellison said.

That's when Franzese filed a motion to intervene, asking Gilligan to let him join the case so he could appeal. Gilligan appeared skeptical of Franzese's arguments from the start of the August hearing and later denied the motion.

The judge hasn't set a hearing date over the new motion.