Abortion-related bills approved by Minnesota Senate

Two key pro-life bills were approved Monday by the Minnesota Senate and are expected to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton soon. Both are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state affiliate of NRLC.

Scott Fischbach

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed the Senate on a vote of 42-24. S.F. 649 / H.F. 936, authored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman (R) and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R) 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 Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by a vote of 82-46 on May 6.

This legislation is based on the landmark Nebraska law that passed in 2010. Similar laws have passed in three more states this year. None have been challenged in court by the abortion industry.

The ban on taxpayer funding of abortion passed the Senate today on a 40-26 vote. S.F. 103 / H.F. 201, authored by Sen. Dave Thompson (R)  and Rep. Peggy Scott (R), would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. The ban was approved by a vote of 80-44 in the House on May 6.

Minnesota taxpayers paid $1.6 million to the abortion industry for 3,933 abortions in 2009 — nearly one-third of all abortions performed in the state that year. Minnesotans are forced to pay for elective abortions because of a state Supreme Court ruling in 1995 that established a “right” to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution and required taxpayer funding of elective abortions for low-income women. Since the ruling, taxpayers have paid more than $17 million for 5,208 abortions, approximately 99 percent of which were elective.

“MCCL is pleased to see these common-sense measures approved by the Legislature,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “Minnesotans don’t want to see helpless unborn babies suffer excruciating pain from abortion, and they don’t want to be forced to fund elective abortions.”

A conference committee will work out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bills. The two bodies will then vote on final passage and send them to Gov. Dayton, who has a pro-choice record and is supported by the abortion industry. The 2011 legislative session will adjourn by May 23.

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