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Walz issues executive order directing state not to aid prosecution of abortion seekers

Plus: Four injured after shots fired near Minneapolis’ Stone Arch Bridge; former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor to be released from prison Monday; ND women’s clinic raises $500,000 for move to Minnesota; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Dave Orrick writes in the Pioneer Press: “A day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can outlaw abortions, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz took action to firm up the state’s status as an island where abortion is legal and welcoming to out-of-state residents seeking the procedure. Walz signed an executive order Saturday directing state agencies — to the extent legally permissible — not to aid agencies from other states if they seek to prosecute their residents for traveling to Minnesota to get abortions or assisting in legal abortions here. … It’s unclear how far such cross-state snubbing could go, since all states are subject to some level of cooperation under federal and constitutional law.”

A Star Tribune story says, “Four people were injured Saturday night when several shots were fired at a gathering near the Stone Arch Bridge across the river from downtown Minneapolis, police said. A Minneapolis police spokesperson said officers arrived around 11 p.m. to a chaotic scene near Main Street and 6th Avenue SE., with fights breaking out within a large group. They said the gathering was not a scheduled or official event. Police described the injuries to four people who had apparent gunshot wounds. A man in his 30s was shot in the head in a potentially life threatening injury. An 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man suffered wounds that were not life threatening.”

Jeffrey Meidrodt reports for the Star Tribune: “Fifty years ago, when gay rights activists organized their first Pride parade in Minneapolis, just 50 people showed up — and half remained in Loring Park to bail out the others if they got arrested for marching. Sunday, more than 100,000 people gathered on Hennepin Avenue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event. They were embraced by some of Minnesota’s largest employers as well as a group of Democratic heavyweights who welcomed the crowds with a plea for political action in response to recent moves that they said threaten the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

Dana Thiede reports for KARE 11: “The highly-anticipated trial of accused Highway 169 shooter Jamal Smith gets underway with jury selection Monday.  Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the death of youth baseball coach Jay Boughton on July 6, 2021. Investigators say Smith fired at Boughton following a short traffic dispute as their vehicles rolled down the highway in Plymouth. Boughton was struck in the head and died in front of his 15-year-old son.”

FOX 9 reports: “Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor is set to be released from prison on Monday after serving just over three years for the death of 911 caller Justine Damond Ruszczyk. Noor shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017 after she had called police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. When Damond approached the squad in the alleyway near her home, Noor shot across his partner, killing the 40-year-old Australian woman. During his trial, Noor said he had feared an ambush. He was initially convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Damond’s death and sentenced to over 12 years in prison.”

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This from Rachana Pradhan at NPR, “Clinicians and abortion rights advocates say Minnesota patients regularly wait at least two weeks for appointments at state clinics — a delay that could push people past the window when an abortion is an option. ‘Even over this year working with abortion funds and clinics here, they’re sending people from Minnesota out to other states because there are not enough appointments,’ particularly for those in the second trimester, said Megan Peterson, executive director of Gender Justice, a nonprofit that advocates for gender equity. As abortion bans expand, she said, ‘I don’t think states like Minnesota are prepared for that influx.’”

Also in the Star Tribune, Erin Adler writes: “Sherrie and Sandy Wilson moved to the Twin Cities from outside Chicago last year to be closer to family in Cottage Grove. They weren’t ready to buy in the hypercompetitive real estate market but wanted their own four walls. … The Wilsons sold their larger, single-family home and leased a 1,500-square-foot house in Canvas at Woodbury, a new, upscale neighborhood of single-family rental homes with a ‘modern farmhouse‘ flair. They’re part of a new wave of suburban development in the metro and a larger national trend of high-end, lease-only communities with rent payments of up to $4,500 — and a list of luxurious amenities.”

An AP story says, “A fundraising campaign to help North Dakota’s sole abortion clinic move a few miles away to Minnesota has raised more than half a million dollars in two days. The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo will have to shut down in 30 days as part of the state’s trigger law that went into effect Friday, when the U.S. Supreme Court removed the constitutional right to abortion. Tammi Kromenaker, owner and operator of the independent clinic, said Saturday she has secured a location across the river in neighboring Moorhead but stated earlier that she didn’t know how she would fund the move. A GoFundMe page set up Friday to benefit the transition had raised over $515,000 from more than 6,000 donors as of late Saturday afternoon. The original goal was $20,000.”

For  ABC News Sophie Tatum says,South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Sunday that women shouldn’t be prosecuted for seeking abortions following the Supreme Court’s ruling last week overturning Roe v. Wade, which allowed state-level abortion bans in South Dakota and elsewhere to take effect. Noem, a Republican, celebrated the high court’s finding that there is no constitutional guarantee to abortion access, but she told ‘This Week’ co-anchor Martha Raddatz, ‘I don’t believe women should ever be prosecuted. I don’t believe that mothers in this situation [should] ever be prosecuted. Now doctors who knowingly violate the law, they should be prosecuted.’”