Pro-life legislation update: House committee votes to protect pain-capable unborn, ban taxpayer funded abortions

MCCL-backed measures advance at State Capitol

Editor’s note. This update was distributed by National Right to Life’s affiliate, the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

ST. PAUL — Two measures to protect unborn children were added this week to a bill moving through the House of Representatives. The initiatives, strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), would prohibit abortions of unborn children who can feel pain and ban taxpayer funding of abortion.

“Legislators are recognizing that there is a lot of common ground on the issue of abortion,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “These common-sense measures must be advanced and enacted into law.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.F. 649 and H.F. 936, would prohibit abortions after the point in pregnancy at which an unborn child can feel pain, which medical evidence demonstrates is (conservatively) 20 weeks from conception. The ban on taxpayer funded abortions, S.F. 103 and H.F. 201, would end the injustice of forcing Minnesotans to pay for elective abortions.

The House Health and Human Services (HHS) Reform Committee voted on Wednesday to add both pro-life provisions as amendments to the HHS policy omnibus bill (H.F. 1020). Each measure was added with a bipartisan roll-call vote of 12-5. The policy omnibus bill will likely next be considered on the House floor.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on a landmark Nebraska law enacted last year, which has not been challenged in court. The bill reflects the consensus of anatomical, behavioral and physiological evidence, which shows that unborn children at 20 weeks can feel pain.

“We should all be able to agree: We must stop the brutal killing of unborn babies who can experience pain and suffering,” Fischbach noted.

Minnesota taxpayers paid nearly $1.6 million to the abortion industry for 3,933 abortions in 2009, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Nearly 32 percent of all abortions in Minnesota are funded with taxpayer dollars.

“This policy of forcing citizens to pay for abortions is one of the most extreme in the nation,” Fischbach explained. “It is time for it to come to an end.”

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