By Dave Andrusko
My wife and I hail from Minnesota and although we’ve lived in Virginia (and worked at National Right to Life) for 41years, we still identify as Minnesotans. That’s why what the Democrats are doing in my home state—while not the least bit surprising—cuts like a knife.
Here’s the lead from Steve Karnowski story for the Associated Press:
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Tim Walz enshrined the right to abortion and other reproductive health care into Minnesota statutes Tuesday, signing a bill meant to ensure that the state’s existing protections remain in place no matter who sits on future courts.
Democratic leaders took advantage of their new control of both houses of the Legislature to rush the bill through in the first month of the 2023 legislative session.
Let’s start with the Democrat’s ‘new control” of both houses (and the governor’s office as well).“The House passed the bill 69-65 less than two weeks ago,” Karnowski wrote, “and party discipline held firm during a 15-hour debate in the Senate that ended in a 34-33 vote early Saturday.”
So a genuinely radical bill that omits all “guardrails”—limitations—on abortion passed by the narrowest of one vote margins in the Senate and just four in the House. So, yes indeed, you could say that Democrats “took advantage” of the outcome of the November elections.
“Abortion rights were already protected under a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision known as Doe v. Gomez, which held that the state Constitution protects abortion rights,” Karnowski continued. “And a district court judge last summer declared unconstitutional several restrictions that previous Legislatures had put in place, including a 24-hour waiting period and a parental notification requirement for minors.”
So the judiciary had already long-since begun dismantling even the most baseline protections.
And Gomez didn’t just “protect abortion rights,” no more than the current wave of extremist pro-abortion legislation merely “codified Roe.”
In Gomez the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the state Constitution requires abortion-on-demand and public funding of abortion. Gomez severely restricts what Minnesotans and their elected officials are allowed to do—even though the state Constitution nowhere mandates unfettered and tax-funded abortion.
Yesterday, when Gov. Tim Walz signed into law the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, it enshrined in state statute a “fundamental right” to abortion without limits or safeguards. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL)—NRLC’s state affiliate put it all in the context.
“The PRO Act means a right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “It means that the elective killing of a human being in utero is perfectly legal even in the third trimester of pregnancy, when the child can feel excruciating pain and could live outside the womb. It means that parents have no right to know when their teenage daughter has been taken to undergo an abortion.
“Gov. Walz’s absolutist abortion policy puts Minnesota in the company of just a small handful of countries around the world, including North Korea and China,” Blaese said. “It is extreme, inhumane, and harmful to women and children who deserve so much better.”
And the forces of darkness are not done yet.
“There are other bills to protect abortion rights in the Legislature’s pipeline as well, including one to delete the statutory restrictions that the district court declared unconstitutional last summer,” Karnowski wrote. “It’s meant to safeguard against those limits being reinstated if that ruling is overturned on appeal.”
House Speaker Melissa Hortman “said she expected House floor votes to approve them as early as next week.”
That includes H.F. 91/S.F. 70, which “would repeal numerous longstanding abortion-related laws, including a law protecting newborns who survive abortion.”