Minnesota AG will defend state's abortion restrictions despite personal views
© Greg Nash

Minnesota state Attorney General and former lawmaker Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonFormer Sanders aides launch consulting firm Minnesota AG will defend state's abortion restrictions despite personal views Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups MORE (D) said he will defend Minnesota’s abortion regulations in a lawsuit against the state despite his own pro-choice stance, the Star Tribune reported.

At a forum in Fergus Falls, Minn., Ellison said his job as Minnesota's top attorney is to defend the laws of the state, despite his personal support of expanding abortion access.

“My job is to defend the laws of the state of Minnesota without regard to my own personal opinions,” Ellison said Friday, the Star Tribune reported. “That’s the job that I have, that’s what I signed up for, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

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“It’s my job to represent the state, so we’re going to do a good job,” Ellison said in an interview after the event, the Star Tribune reported. “I maintain my own personal views, but it’s just the way it is.”

The lawsuit, which was filed last month, seeks to overturn parts of Minnesota’s current abortion regulation, including a 24-hour waiting period to receive an abortion, two-parent notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion and a mandate that fetal remains be buried or cremated. The suit also challenges the state’s requirement that all abortions be performed by a physician.

The case was brought by legal advocacy groups Gender Justice and the Lawyering Project on behalf of two anonymous health professionals, as well as First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune.

Abortion opponents in the state were encouraged by Ellison’s comments, according to the Star Tribune. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life spokesman Paul Stark told the publication the state’s current regulations have “helped empower and protect thousands of women.” 

“The taxpayers of Minnesota deserve a vigorous defense of our common-sense abortion laws,” Stark said.

Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman told the Star Tribune she and the other organizations bringing the lawsuit “are prepared for the state to put on a vigorous defense.”