House approves measures to protect pain-capable unborn children, end taxpayer funded abortions

Senate votes on pro-life bills expected soon

Scott Fischbach

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House of Representatives approved two pro-life bills today after lengthy floor debate. Both measures are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s largest pro-life organization.

“These bills represent the will of a large majority of Minnesotans, who oppose the inflicting of suffering upon unborn children and the forced funding of elective abortions,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.F. 936 / S.F. 649, is authored by Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, and Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas. The bill would prohibit abortions from the point at which the unborn child can feel pain, which medical evidence demonstrates is (conservatively) 20 weeks from conception. The legislation is based on a landmark Nebraska law passed last year, which has not been challenged in court. Three other states have passed similar legislation this year.

The ban on taxpayer funded abortions, H.F. 201 / S.F. 103, would end taxpayer funding of elective abortions, which resulted from the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision, in which the court established a “right” to abortion and required taxpayers to fund elective abortions for women on public assistance. The ruling overturned a law passed by the Legislature in 1978 that prohibited taxpayer funded abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The legislation is authored by Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, and Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville.

“These mainstream measures enjoy broad bi-partisan support in the Legislature and among the people of Minnesota,” Fischbach said.

The Minnesota Senate is expected to take up these bills before the session ends on May 23. The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety committee heard and passed these two initiatives on Tuesday, advancing them to be considered by the full Senate.

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