By Paul Stark, Communications Director, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL)
On January 28, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill to enshrine in Minnesota law a right to abortion without limits at any time during pregnancy. Senators approved the bill, H.F. 1, by just a one-vote margin, 34-33. Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign the sweeping measure into law.
“Minnesotans don’t support elective third-trimester abortion. They just don’t. But that’s what this extreme bill entrenches in our state law: the right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “Under this bill, even babies who are old enough to live outside the womb and to feel excruciating pain have no protection from lethal violence. The extremism of H.F. 1 puts Minnesota in the same category as just a handful of countries around the world, including North Korea and China.”
H.F. 1, authored by Sen. Jennifer McEwen (DFL-Duluth), would create a “fundamental right” to abortion and require that abortion be allowed for any reason even late in pregnancy, when unborn children are developed enough to feel 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 lack of parental involvement allows the most heinous of criminals—human and sex traffickers—to hide behind the doors of the unlicensed, uninspected abortion facility,” said Blaeser. “These traffickers are happily watching this legislature advance extreme, unfettered abortion bills that enable them to continue to traffic their victims.”
Many amendments that would have made H.F. 1 less extreme were voted down or thwarted. The defeated amendments included ones to protect unborn children in the third trimester (with exceptions), to protect against the barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion, to provide the option of anesthesia when unborn children can feel pain, and to protect women’s health by requiring that third-trimester abortions take place in a hospital.
Additional abortion-expanding bills have also been introduced at the Capitol. One bill, H.F. 91/S.F. 70, would repeal numerous abortion-related laws, including a law protecting newborns who survive abortion.