Democrats sneak abortion provisions into omnibus bill

A law that protects babies who survive abortions is on the chopping block.

Rep. Tina Liebling said a conference committee is set to include some elements of her bill in its report for the health and human services budget.

Democrats slipped some of the more controversial elements of their abortion agenda into a health and human services omnibus bill on the last day of Minnesota’s legislative session.

Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, clued MinnPost in on this development Saturday, but the final language of the bill wasn’t released until late Sunday, about 24 hours before the end of session.

Liebling authored HF91, a bill that seeks to repeal many of Minnesota’s regulations on the abortion industry. A conference committee included some elements of her bill in its report for the health and human services budget. That committee was scheduled to meet Monday at 8 a.m., the last day of session. Once the committee finalizes its report, it will then be sent to both chambers for an up or down vote.

Liebling, who chairs the conference committee, was unable to get her standalone bill to the floor of either the House or Senate because of opposition within her own party, a sign that the legislation is even more extreme than the “Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act.”

Sen. Aric Putnam, DFL-St. Cloud, voted for the PRO Act but said during a town hall this session that he was the reason Liebling’s bill didn’t make it to the Senate floor.

According to the conference committee report, Democrats plan to:

  • cancel the Positive Alternatives program;
  • repeal most of the “Born Alive Infants Protection Act,” a law that requires doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive abortions. Democrats have deleted from law a requirement for doctors to “preserve the life and health of the born alive infant,” replacing it with a watered-down mandate to “care for the infant who is born alive.” They have also removed the word abortion from the statute. The bill calls for a full repeal of subdivisions 2-9 of the act;
  • gut reporting requirements for abortion facilities, including data on the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, but still require data collection on the number of abortions performed in Minnesota and gestational age;
  • repeal a law that mandates a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion while the doctor provides information on the medical risks;
  • repeal the “physician-only law,” which requires abortions to be performed only by physicians; and
  • repeal a requirement that second- and third-trimester abortions be performed in a hospital.

Liebling told MinnPost Democrats don’t have the votes to repeal a two–parent notification law requiring both parents of a minor to be given notice 48 hours before the procedure.

The amended language of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Some, but not all, of the statutes Democrats plan to repeal were ruled unconstitutional last summer by a Ramsey County judge, who let stand the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and reporting requirements. That ruling, which did not affect the Positive Alternatives program, is currently being appealed.

Legislators have until midnight Monday to pass any remaining bills.


Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.