ST. PAUL — On Thursday, the Minnesota House narrowly approved the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, a sweeping bill that would enshrine unlimited abortion, at any stage of pregnancy, in Minnesota law. The legislation, H.F. 1 (S.F. 1), passed on a 69-65 vote and will next go to the Senate floor.
“Let’s be clear: The PRO Act would mean it’s legal for any baby to be aborted, for any reason and at any time up to birth,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “The absolutist extremism of this bill would put Minnesota in the company of just a handful of countries worldwide, among them China and North Korea. Mothers and babies deserve a far more humane and compassionate approach.”
H.F. 1, authored by Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL-Eden Prairie), would create a “fundamental right” to abortion without limits. It would require that abortion be allowed on-demand even late in pregnancy, when unborn children are developed enough to feel excruciating pain and when the risks of abortion to women increase. The bill would also deny parents the right to know when their minor daughter is subjected to abortion.
The House voted down or thwarted several amendments that would have lessened the bill’s extremism. One would prohibit the barbaric late abortion procedure known as partial-birth abortion. Another would protect unborn children in the third trimester (with exceptions), when they are well-developed and capable of living outside the womb (the amendment was defeated on a 67-67 vote). Another would help protect women’s health by requiring that Minnesota license abortion facilities, which are currently unlicensed and uninspected by the state.
“The DFL majority today voted for abortion-on-demand in the third trimester of pregnancy, and even voted against licensing the facilities that could perform these riskier procedures,” said Blaeser. “To say this is out of step with public opinion—in Minnesota, nationwide, and globally—is an understatement. The Senate can and must reject the PRO Act for the sake of babies, women, girls, parents, and all of us.”
A 2022 KSTP/SurveyUSA poll found that only 30 percent of Minnesotans think abortion should always be legal.