Senate Majority Leader Gazelka (R- Nisswa) began with a quote by Hubert H. Humphrey that began with “the moral test of the government is how the government treats those who are at dawn of life.” “We want to focus on the Dawn of life” he continued, discussing how in New York and now potentially Virginia a “baby could be born, resuscitated, and then they talk about taking the life of that baby. In Minnesota, that would be first degree murder.”
The New York abortion law allows for abortions to be performed up until the moment before the child’s’ birth and even allows for non-physicians to perform the abortion. “We’re asking everybody to thoughtfully reflect on this. Is this who we are?” Senator Scott Jensen (R- Chaska) asked. Senator Jensen has delivered 500 babies himself and 3 out of his 4 grandchildren were born premature.
Sen. Gazelka stated the reason for the public caucus meeting was not to introduce new legislation, but to reflect on the deep implications of what New York and soon Virginia have enacted. “Often on issues there becomes a wave. Things happen in one place, other people get the idea and try to start is somewhere else” he said. Representative Peggy Bennett (R- Albert Lea) responded stating “I do not want to see this happen in Minnesota, nor does our caucus.”
Republican legislators are “putting the stake in the ground and saying that’s not going to happen here” as Sen. Gazelka stated. They are fully committed to protecting Minnesotans lives at all stages, and it’s apparent they have made that a priority.
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.