Thirteen Catholics, all Democrats, voted for the “Protect Reproductive Options” Act in the Minnesota Legislature.
The bill will place into Minnesota law a “fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, via any method and for any reason, with no age restrictions.
The bill doesn’t just apply to abortion. It protects the right of “every individual,” including minors, to access “reproductive health care” services such as contraception and sterilization.
It passed the House in a 69-65 vote and the Senate in a 34-33 vote. Democrats rejected dozens of amendments to the bill, including bans on partial-birth and third-trimester abortions. According to a list of Catholic legislators obtained by Alpha News, there were 10 Catholics who voted in favor of the bill in the House.
- Rep. Matt Norris
- Speaker Melissa Hortman
- Rep. Erin Koegel
- Rep. Kelly Moller
- Rep. Ginny Klevorn
- Rep. Peter Fischer
- Rep. Lucy Rehm
- Rep. Brad Tabke
- Rep. John Huot
- Rep. Dave Pinto
Only one Democrat, Rep. Gene Pelowski, also a Catholic, voted against the bill. Three Catholics voted in favor of the bill in the Senate:
Democrats hold just a one-seat majority in the Minnesota Senate, which sent the bill to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk early Saturday morning after 15 hours of debate.
The Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion is based on the fact that “scientific inquiry has definitively determined that human life begins at conception,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a recent letter to lawmakers.
“As inconvenient as it is for some, we cannot ignore the reality of the unborn child in the womb — a living human being who is owed the protection of the community. We cannot allow state-sanctioned violence against a whole class of human beings,” he said.
Here's a running list of every amendment that has been rejected by Democrats in the Minnesota Senate tonight: pic.twitter.com/vM921rmKN8
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 28, 2023
“The irresponsibly broad and open-ended definition of reproductive healthcare in this bill needs to be limited,” he added.
The Catholic Church has affirmed the “moral evil of every procured abortion” since the first century, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” it says.
Pope Francis has been consistent in condemning abortion, calling it “murder,” a “crime,” and an “absolute evil.”
“It is not right to ‘do away with’ a human being, however small, in order to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman,” he said in an infamous 2018 statement.
Last year, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone barred former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, from receiving Communion because of her “advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion.”
“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 915),” he wrote to Pelosi.
Democrats are pushing a separate bill, HF/SF 91, that would repeal several of Minnesota’s regulations on the abortion industry and expand public funding of abortion. Some Catholics are co-sponsoring the legislation.
Alpha News reached out to all of the legislators named in this story for comment.