Several pieces of pro-life legislation have been introduced by Republicans in both the Minnesota House and Senate. While they all face uphill battles against a Democratic-controlled House and a progressive in the Governor’s Mansion, pro-life leaders think that at least some of the measures should attract bipartisan support.
“Ultrasound imaging provides women with factual medical information,” Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) Legislative Director Andrea Rau said of the companion bills.
“When people are better informed, they make better decisions that result in fewer regrets. Women deserve the chance to decide for themselves whether or not to see their child,” Rau added.
According to MCCL, the bills are “completely mainstream legislation,” since 28 other states already have similar provisions written into their informed-consent laws for abortions. The Minnesota Legislature did pass an ultrasound bill in 2018, but it was vetoed by former Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN).
A second set of companion bills would prohibit abortions from being performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is when “scientific evidence shows that unborn children can feel pain,” according to MCCL.
Under current Minnesota law, abortions can be performed “at any time during pregnancy for any reason,” MCCL notes. In 2018, this allowed for 223 abortions to be performed at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later.
“In recent weeks, elected officials in New York and elsewhere have shocked the rest of the nation by pushing very extreme abortion policies. Many Minnesotans don’t realize that our own state fails to protect unborn babies even late in pregnancy. This new bill would change that,” Rau said.
After New York passed its Reproductive Rights Act, which allows abortions up until the moment of birth, Minnesota Republicans called a press conference to take a stand against these “barbaric” pro-abortion laws.
“We’re simply saying we’re putting the stake in the ground in Minnesota and saying that’s not going to happen here. And it’s my hope that other states, and leaders of other states, will also stand up and say, frankly, that this is too far,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said at the time.
As The Minnesota Sun previously reported, a third bill, SF 869, would outlaw abortions after a “fetal heartbeat is detectable in the pregnant woman’s unborn child.”
“Human beings deserve better than this,” Rau concluded. “They deserve the protection of a just and humane and compassionate society. Even just one of these children brutally ripped apart is one too many.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Michelle Benson” by Michelle Benson. Photo “Paul Gezelka” by Paul Gezelka.