Today the Minnesota House Finance and Policy Committee approved the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, a bill that would enshrine in state law a “fundamental right” to abort any baby until birth. The committee passed the bill on an 11-8 vote.
“The extremism of this bill would put Minnesota in the same category as just seven countries in the world, among them North Korea and China,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “This bill means a ‘right’ to abort any baby for any reason at any time until birth. Women and children deserve so much better.”
The PRO Act (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 can 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.
Three amendments were each voted down 11-8. 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 third amendment would require that abortions after the first trimester—when the procedure is more dangerous—take place in a hospital; during the hearing, Planned Parenthood acknowledged that its facilities are not licensed by the state.
“The defeat of these commonsense amendments makes clear that this bill is about unfettered, no-limits abortion,” said Blaeser. “It is inhumane and well beyond what Minnesotans support. Our elected officials can and must reject the PRO Act for the sake of babies, women, girls, parents, and all of us.”
In her comments in opposition to the bill, Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch) noted: “This bill codifies the absolute most extreme position on abortion. … The entire civilized world recognizes that there are some reasonable restrictions that should take place.” The bill, Rep. Neu Brindley added, “is abhorrent and I hope that we all vote no today.”
H.F. 1 is expected to be heard in additional House and Senate committees.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Minnesota lawmakers to tell them to vote NO on the bill.
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