Flashback: Walz apologized for voting in favor of bill to protect abortion survivors

The bill would have required health care workers to treat infants born alive after an abortion the same as any other infant at the same gestational age.

Gov. Tim Walz speaks at a press conference at the Minnesota Capitol in October 2019. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz/Flickr)

In January 2018, when now-governor Tim Walz was still a congressman in the U.S. House, he apologized for “accidentally” voting in favor of a bill protecting infants who survived an abortion.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (HR 4712), which passed the U.S. House by a 241-183 vote, said it would require health workers to treat infants born alive after an abortion (or attempted abortion) the same as any other infant at the same gestational age, and to ensure the infant receives immediate medical attention at a hospital.

Only six Democrats voted in favor of the bill, but one of them did so on accident. Then-Rep. Walz felt compelled to publicly clarify that his vote was an “honest mistake.”

“I meant to vote NO, as I did on an identical bill last Congress. My apologies for the confusion. I’ll keep fighting for women’s access to health care,” he tweeted at the time.

Attached was an image of Walz’s statement asking former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to change his vote.

“My intent was to vote NO on HR 4712,” he wrote. “A procedural vote was added to the scheduled vote series and my Yes vote was on my approval of the journal.”

In a piece from August 2018, Paul Stark of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life pointed out how the bill “had precisely no bearing at all on ‘women’s access to health care.'”

“It didn’t even have any bearing on abortion or on access to abortion. It merely said that babies who are born alive in the context of abortion must be treated the same as all other already-born babies who are the same age — they may not be killed, neglected, or abandoned to die,” he wrote.

“Walz apparently opposed such protection strongly enough that he wanted to publicly correct the record.”

The Minnesota governor recently called the pro-life views of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen “extreme,” though Jensen and many others have criticized Walz as the “real extremist” on abortion.

“While Tim Walz has bragged about being so pro-abortion that Nancy Pelosi told him to tone it down, most Minnesotans support commonsense limitations on abortion, such as a ban on taxpayer funding for abortion, and a ban on abortions after the first trimester,” wrote Moses Bratrud of the Minnesota Family Council.