Large majorities vote to protect pain capable unborn, ban taxpayer funded abortion
ST. PAUL — Bipartisan majorities in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives passed several measures this week aimed at protecting nascent human life. Gov. Dayton has several days to decide whether he will sign the lifesaving legislation, which is strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
“Governor Dayton said at the start of the session that he would not sign any extreme measures concerning abortion, and these mainstream bills are anything but extreme,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “MCCL is hopeful that Dayton will move to protect unborn children capable of feeling excruciating pain from abortion, and to end the tyranny of forcing taxpayers to fund elective abortions.”
Two pro-life bills have advanced in both chambers. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act 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. This legislation is based on the landmark Nebraska law that passed in 2010. Similar laws have passed in three more states this year, and none have been challenged in court by the abortion industry. The pain-capable bill passed the Senate on Monday on a vote of 42-24 after being approved by the House on May 6 by a vote of 82-46. H.F. 936 is authored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville.
The ban on taxpayer funding of abortion passed the Senate Monday on a 40-26 vote. The ban was approved by a vote of 80-44 in the House on May 6. H.F. 201, authored by Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, and Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion.
The House passed the conference committee report for the two bills yesterday. The Senate approved the ban on taxpayer funding of abortion this morning; it is expected to approve the pain-capable legislation later today, which would send the two bills to the governor.
The conference committee report on the Health and Human Services omnibus bill was approved late Wednesday in the House and Senate and sent to Gov. Dayton. It includes a ban on human cloning, which would prevent the cloning of human life for laboratory experiments.
In addition, the Higher Education omnibus bill includes a provision to ban taxpayer funding of human cloning. The Legislature passed a similar ban in 2009 after learning that the University of Minnesota was considering conducting human cloning experiments with state funds. Both the House and Senate passed the Higher Education conference committee report this week.
“MCCL is pleased to see these common-sense measures approved by the Legislature,” said Fischbach. “Minnesotans established a solidly pro-life Legislature in the November election, and they expect their elected officials to pass greater protections for unborn babies and other vulnerable human lives.”