On Mar 14 a bill, chief authored by Senator Michelle Benson (R- Ham Lake) that would prevent abortions once the baby is able to feel pain in the womb, passed Committee on Health and Human Services Finance and Policy.
The bill in the house is chief authored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) along with 26 other Representatives.
The bill is called The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and if passed, would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization or about 22 weeks gestation, with exceptions for extreme circumstances.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s Legislative Director, Andrea Rau, testified before the committee on Mar 14 pointing out how “We have many laws, customs, and traditions that seek to protect others from pain… Should we not extend this to the most vulnerable child—the unborn child?”
Rau also shed light on the 500 percent increase in abortions in Minnesota after 20 weeks post-fertilization from 2013 to 2017. Of the 248 abortions that took place from 2013 to 2017 after 20 weeks in Minnesota, only 5 were due to fetal abnormalities.
Sen. Benson aims to uncover study reasons for having an abortion after this 20-week mark and thus includes appropriations in the bill’s provisions to study this increase of abortions after 20 weeks and the reasons why they take place.
“My heart breaks for the women who choose to have a late-term abortion, but our major medical systems treat unborn children as patients.” Sen. Benson says, explaining how new innovations are taking place in the rapidly expanding field of neonatal palliative care. Sen. Benson has proven to be a fervent protector of life at every stage and believes that now more than ever an “unborn child who feels pain deserves our recognition and our protection.”
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.