Group Boycotts Minneapolis Over Abortion Law

From Associated Press

The American Family Therapy Assn. has canceled plans to hold its 1992 convention in Minneapolis to protest a state law requiring teen-age girls to notify their parents before having an abortion.

The group objects to the law that also mandates that minors seek a judge's permission if they want to avoid notifying their parents. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in June.

The cancellation means a loss of nearly $180,000 to the local economy, according to Peter Hedlund, vice president of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Assn. That figure is based on attendance of 300 conventioneers.

Marilyn Mason, a Minneapolis psychologist and a member of the American Family Therapy Assn. board, said Friday that the board decided by a "100% consensus" to boycott Minneapolis when it learned of the Minnesota law during a retreat in September.

"Since our organization opposes government interference in the reproductive decisions of Americans, especially those that deny poor Americans their right to privacy, we cannot, in good conscience, have our convention in Minnesota," Mason wrote in a letter to the Star Tribune.

Rachael Hare-Muftin, the association's president, told Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser and St. Paul Mayor Jim Scheibel of the cancellation in separate letters.

The law was in effect five years before a challenge by several abortion clinics led U.S. District Judge Donald Alsop to declare it unconstitutional in 1986.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled that the law was valid but blocked its enforcement pending a U.S. Supreme Court review.

In June, the nation's high court ruled that states do not impose an "undue burden" on pregnant girls by requiring them to notify parents or receive court permission if they do not want to tell their parents.

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