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Minneapolis officials said Wednesday that they hope to make the city a "safe haven" for people seeking abortions and reproductive health care by limiting city employees' ability to assist agencies that might attempt to prosecute them.

"The message to Minneapolis residents, the message more broadly to other cities and states around us, is if you need that basic health care service of abortion, we in Minneapolis are a safe haven," Mayor Jacob Frey said Wednesday, moments after he signed an executive order putting new restrictions in place.

The new order comes weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had for nearly half a century guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. Cities and states across the country are now weighing whether they want to restrict or further enhance access to abortion, emergency contraception and other services as the nation gears up for another high-stakes election cycle.

Minnesota is expected to become an island in the Midwest for patients seeking legal abortions, just over 10,000 of which were performed in the state last year. Minneapolis officials said Wednesday that they want to ensure that people feel safe seeking the procedure within city limits.

"We are going to do everything that we can to make sure that people continue to have safe, secure access to health care in the community of Minneapolis," City Council President Andrea Jenkins said. Frey described Wednesday's order as a "first step" in that process.

The order aims to prevent city of Minneapolis employees from providing information or assistance to outside agencies seeking to prosecute people wanting reproductive health care that is legal in Minnesota — including abortion, contraception and services aimed at "managing pregnancy loss" — and professionals helping them obtain those services. It includes an exception, though, when that assistance is "required by statute, regulation" or court order.

"To be clear, we will not be assisting with investigations. We will not be furthering the work of other jurisdictions," Frey said. He added: "Obviously, if there is a court order requiring otherwise, we have to comply with the court order. That's not just the case in Minneapolis. That's every city in the entire country."

The order applies only to people employed by the city of Minneapolis. Other entities operating within city limits may have their own rules. Carolyn Marinan, a spokeswoman for Hennepin County, said, "HIPAA/privacy would prevent us sharing any personal medical information without a written release from the person receiving the care."

Sheena Dooley,a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood North Central States, thanked Frey for "his vision and willingness to bring the full weight of his office to address this public health crisis."

"Everyone from elected officials to health care systems need to step up to do everything they can to address the public health crisis that we are facing," Dooley said. "Our call center has seen a large uptick in patients calling in confused as to whether they can get an abortion and not knowing how to navigate the restrictions to care."

Dooley said the organization is providing patient navigators to help people get access to resources that might be available.

The new city order comes a couple of weeks after Our Justice and Pro-Choice Minnesota, two other organizations supporting access to abortion, called on city leaders "to provide direct abortion funding and practical support."

"With the overturn of Roe versus Wade and continued gridlock at the State Capitol, thousands of pregnant people across the Midwest are depending on clinics in Minnesota to receive the abortion care they need," Maggie Meyer, executive director of Pro-Choice Minnesota, said in a statement at the time. "We're calling on Mayor Frey to affirm his commitment to making Minneapolis a 'safe haven' for abortion access through direct funding, because without financial support the legal right is not sufficient in ensuring that people can actually access the abortion care they need."

The mayor said Wednesday that he is "exploring what the best possible option is to make our monies and resources that we have at the city go as far as they possibly can" but added that he didn't "want to limit the framework that we might go down." Frey is expected to deliver a budget address on Aug. 15 that outlines his financial priorities for next year.