Minnesota Department of Corrections


Policy:                                    500.108

Title:                                      Adult Offender Abortion

Effective Date:                      8/1/17


PURPOSE:    To provide incarcerated, pregnant, adult offenders with medical and social services related to an abortion.


APPLICABILITY:   Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC); Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee; incarcerated, pregnant adult offenders



Elective abortion – an abortion induced legally by a qualified physician for any reason other than a therapeutic abortion.


Therapeutic abortion – an abortion induced legally by a qualified physician to safeguard the health of the mother.



A.        The department, through its medical vendor, provides for therapeutic abortions and elective abortions where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.  For all other elective abortions, the offender must pay for the abortion and related expenses which include transportation and security costs.


B.        When an offender informs health services that she wants an abortion, a health services staff member schedules an appointment for the offender with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) practitioner. 


C.        The OB/GYN practitioner discusses the abortion process and offers appropriate social services and behavioral health services, if indicated.  The decision to have an abortion lies solely with the offender.


D.        The offender must sign the Abortion Request form (attached) to document the fact that she chooses to have an abortion before the abortion can occur.  The Abortion Request form is retained in the legal section of the medical file.


E.         Scheduling

After the offender requests an abortion and signs the Abortion Request form:

1.         Health services staff make arrangements for therapeutic abortions or elective abortions when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.


2.         The health services administrator, in conjunction with the case manager, assists the offender in making arrangements for 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.  Case management staff must confirm that funds are available prior to allowing the offender to schedule the appointment for the abortion procedure (see Division Directive 500.135, “Offender-Requested Private Health Care).


E.         Following an abortion, a health services practitioner meets with the offender and makes appropriate referrals, which may include psychological services.


F.         The health services administrator/designee provides training to nursing staff on this policy upon hire and annually.  Training records are retained in the employee’s supervisory file.


G.        Department staff who wish not to be involved in arranging, transporting, or providing security during an abortion are not required to do so.  Individual requests must be discussed with the supervisor.



A.        Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee health services documentation of training on this policy is located in the employee’s supervisory file, which is maintained by the registered nurse supervisor.


B.        The Abortion Request form is retained in the legal section of the offender’s medical file.




REFERENCES:        Minn. Stat. §§241.021, subd. 4; 243.212

Division Directive 500.135, "Offender Requested Private Health Care"

NCCHC standard P. 58


REPLACES:              Division Directive 500.108, "Adult Offender Abortion," 4/5/16.

All facility policies, memos, or other communications whether verbal, written, or transmitted by electronic means regarding this topic.


ATTACHMENTS:    Abortion Request form (500.108A)



Deputy Commissioner, Facility Services

Deputy Commissioner, Community Services

Assistant Commissioner, Facility Services

Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support