By Paul Stark
ST. PAUL — A bill to repeal numerous longstanding abortion-related laws in Minnesota, including a law protecting newborns who survive abortion from being left to die, passed a Minnesota legislative committee today. The bill, H.F. 91 (S.F. 70), was approved by the House Health Finance and Policy Committee on an 11-8 vote.
“This utterly extreme bill would leave virtually no protections for unborn children, at any stage of pregnancy, on the books in Minnesota,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “Most appalling, though, H.F. 91 would even repeal protection for the life of an infant born alive after abortion, moving Minnesota backward from a community of compassion to one of active and callous cruelty.”
Some of the laws the bill would repeal—including parental notification before abortions on minors, the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law, and a law stating that only physicians may perform abortions—were recently struck down in the Doe v. Minnesota case in Ramsey County District Court.
Other laws H.F. 91 would eliminate are currently in effect. They include the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which states that “all reasonable measures consistent with good medical practice, including the compilation of appropriate medical records, shall be taken by the responsible medical personnel to preserve the life and health of the born alive infant.”
In 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, five abortions resulted in a born-alive infant.
H.F. 91 would also eliminate Minnesota’s abortion reporting law, which requires the state to collect basic data about how abortion is practiced, including data about injuries and deaths resulting from abortion.
The committee rejected, by 11-8 votes, amendments that would have preserved the laws protecting born-alive infants, ensuring parental notification, and requiring basic reporting. Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch), who offered the born-alive amendment, said, “It is absolutely shocking to me that we are having this discussion.”
A related bill, the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act (H.F. 1/S.F. 1), would enshrine a “fundamental right” to abortion without any limits. The PRO Act has passed through a number of committees in both the House and Senate.
“H.F. 91 and the PRO Act both mean a right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth,” said Blaeser. “But H.F. 91 goes further by stripping rights from newborn babies who survive abortion. It rejects a fundamental premise of human compassion: that when a baby is born alive, he or she is a member of our human community and deserves our protection and care.”