Minnesota Department of Corrections
PURPOSE: To provide incarcerated offenders with medical and social services related to an abortion.
APPLICABILITY: Incarcerated, pregnant adult offenders requesting an abortion.
PREAMBLE: The United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and the Minnesota Supreme Court in Women of the State of Minnesota v. Gomez have established the constitutional limits on a woman’s decision to have an abortion and the use of public funds to pay for an abortion. This policy is to be narrowly construed in a manner consistent with these decisions.
DIRECTIVE: The department will, through its medical vendor, provide therapeutic abortions. The department will absorb related expenses for therapeutic abortions. In all other circumstances the offender must pay for the elective abortion and related expenses which include transportation and security costs. These funds must be available prior to scheduling the appointment for the abortion procedure.
A department staff who wishes not to be involved in arranging, transporting or providing security during an abortion will not be required to do so.
Therapeutic abortion - A therapeutic abortion includes an abortion performed for the following reasons:
1. The woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury or physical illness including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless the abortion is performed;
2. The pregnancy resulted from rape;
3. The pregnancy resulted from incest; and/or
4. The abortion is being done for other health reasons.
Elective abortion - an abortion performed for any reason other than the reasons listed under therapeutic abortion.
A. When health services is informed that an offender wants an abortion, health services will schedule an appointment for the offender with a nurse. The nurse will discuss the abortion process and offer appropriate social services. The decision to have an abortion lies solely with the offender.
B. Health services will schedule an appointment for the offender to be examined by the OB/GYN physician and the psychiatrist if necessary, to determine the reason for the abortion (i.e., rape, incest, significant physical or mental disorder, etc.).
C. The offender must sign a statement (attached) to the fact that she chooses to have an abortion before the abortion can occur.
D. The health services staff will arrange for the abortion upon receipt of the offender’s signed statement requesting a therapeutic abortion.
E. The health services administrator, in conjunction with the case manager will assist the offender in making arrangements for the abortion upon receipt of the offender’s signed statement requesting an elective abortion. This includes identifying resources, potential providers and other contacts as necessary. It does not include making phone calls to providers on behalf of the offender.
F. Following an abortion, referrals will be made as determined by the practitioner, which may include psychological services.
ACA standards 3-4359 and 3-4387.
NCCHC standard P. 58.
SUPERSESSION: Division Directive 500.108, "Adult Offender Abortion," 1/1/02.
All facility policies, memos, or other communications whether verbal, written, or transmitted by electronic means regarding this topic.
ATTACHMENTS: Offender Request Statement
Nanette M. Larson, Director