Democrats are one step closer to fulfilling their campaign promise to enshrine a woman’s “right” to an abortion in Minnesota law.
The Minnesota House Health Finance and Policy Committee passed what opponents are calling an “abortion-until-birth” bill Thursday morning.
The Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act would guarantee a woman’s “fundamental right” to abort her baby for any reason up to the moment of birth.
Republicans on the committee unsuccessfully attempted to amend the bill with a requirement for second and third-trimester abortions to be performed in a hospital setting because of the increased risk of complications.
Rep. Debra Kiel put forth another amendment to outlaw the practice of partial-birth abortions, which Democrats rejected.
“I would assume everyone knows what a partial-birth abortion is, but I’m going to get a little graphic,” she said. “Partial-birth abortions are when we deliver a child, often turning them around so that their legs are delivered first, and then in the end they’re pulled apart most of the time, which the abortive doctor has to put together again in order to make sure that all of the parts have been removed. Because if you do not remove the entire baby, you can suffer some serious complications … the child’s head is then crushed and the remains are removed.”
A third amendment would have limited abortion to the first and second trimester.
“What we know at this point is that babies can feel extreme pain in the third trimester,” said Rep. Anne Neu Brindley, author of the amendment. “The three most common forms of aborting a baby in the third trimester would include being dismembered, burned with chemicals to the point of death, or having a needle stuck through your chest into your hearts.”
Democrats on the committee again rejected the amendment and advanced the bill as written in an 11-8 vote.
According to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser, the bill puts Minnesota on par with North Korea’s and China’s abortion laws.
“This bill means a ‘right’ to abort any baby for any reason at any time until birth. Women and children deserve so much better,” she said in a press release.
Blaeser said the defeat of the GOP’s “commonsense amendments makes clear that this bill is about unfettered, no-limits abortion.”
“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,” she added.
“Where does it end?” asked Peggy Benick, executive director of Robbinsdale Women’s Center (RWC). “At RWC, we see the fallout. It breaks my heart.” RWC is a pregnancy resource center.
“If people could see how barbaric [an abortion] is and how that little baby suffers,” she said. “The womb is becoming the most dangerous place for an unborn child.”
HF 1 was authored by Democrat Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn and is sponsored by Sen. Jennifer McEwen in the Senate.
Brian Gibson, executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM), noted that the bill was registered as House File 1, meaning it “is the number one priority of the majority party.”
“If this becomes law, a school counselor can take a student to an abortion clinic without their parents’ knowledge,” said Tim Miller, executive director of PLAM Action. “An unborn child can be murdered up to one second before they leave their mother’s birth canal. There will be no requirement for an abortion to take place in a clinic setting and a doctor is no longer needed. Regardless of a person’s position on abortion rights, very few Minnesotans agree with this radical agenda.”
HF 1 will be heard in several additional committees before going to the House floor.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.