Outgoing lawmaker pursues new legal avenue in abortion fight

Miller explained that the city ordinance is one of the last legal avenues to prevent the murder of unborn children in Minnesota.

Rep. Tim Miller/Minnesota House

A retiring Minnesota lawmaker and pro-life activist is asking his local city council to consider adopting a pro-life ordinance.

Outgoing state Rep. Tim Miller proposed a “Life City” ordinance before the Prinsburg City Council last week. The ordinance would allow citizens to sue medical providers for helping to carry out an abortion within city limits. The mother or father of the child would not be subject to litigation.

Prinsburg, a deeply conservative town in central Minnesota, does not have an established abortion facility. But Miller, who presented in his capacity as director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, argues the ordinance is important nevertheless.

“There are companies out there that are doing mail-order chemical abortions. There’s a van going around western Minnesota. And so no city is immune to the possibility of this happening,” he said in an interview excerpt posted by Willmar Radio.

Miller further explained that the ordinance is one of the last legal avenues to prevent the murder of unborn children in Minnesota.

“After the Ramsey court judge and the elections this last week, there’s really no way to stop abortions … in Minnesota through live birth,” he said. “There’s just nothing legally that we can do anymore about that. The abortion industry just effectively has virtually total control, so this is our path by which we’re going to defend those unborn and their mothers.”

In July, Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan struck down several abortion restrictions as “unconstitutional,” including a 24-hour waiting period, a requirement that only physicians could perform abortions, and others.

Attorney General Keith Ellison has already sent a letter to Prinsburg leaders and threatened to intervene should the ordinance pass.

“Any municipal ordinance which limits the fundamental rights of pregnant Minnesotans to receive an abortion is unconstitutional,” Ellison said in his letter, according to KSTP.

Miller told KSTP he believes the ordinance could withstand legal challenges.

“Every place this has been challenged in court across the United States, it has been held up,” he said.

The retiring state representative Miller has a strong pro-life track record. Earlier this year, prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Miller introduced a bill in the Minnesota House that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, roughly six weeks into pregnancy.

Minnesota Democrats, on the other hand, are planning on prioritizing legislation that would codify “abortion rights” in state law. House Speaker Melissa Hortman has said such a bill would “be one of the first, if not the first bill passed.”

Miller began his position at Pro-Life Action Ministries after the end of the most recent legislative session in May, which was his last.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.