Gov. Tim Walz signed the Protect Reproductive Options Act into law Tuesday afternoon, which will grant Minnesotans a “fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.
“The message that we’re sending to Minnesota today is very clear: your rights are protected in this state. You have the right to make your own decisions about your health and your family and your life. In a few moments, we’ll make sure that our state law reflects exactly that,” Walz said during a bill signing ceremony.
The bill was sent to the governor’s desk early Saturday morning after 15 hours of debate in the Minnesota Senate, which Democrats control by just one seat. Republicans proposed dozens of amendments to the bill, including bans on late-term and partial-birth abortions. Democrats rejected all of the amendments.
Here's a running list of every amendment that has been rejected by Democrats in the Minnesota Senate tonight: pic.twitter.com/vM921rmKN8
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 28, 2023
The legislation protects the right of “every individual,” including minors, to access “reproductive health care” services, including abortion, contraception and sterilization.
Republican leaders urged Walz to veto the bill and abide by his campaign promise to oppose abortions “up to the moment of birth.”
“While running for re-election, you assured Minnesotans that you did not believe abortion should be permitted up-to-the-moment-of-birth, and instead supported ‘maintaining the timelines outlined by current law.’ Under current law, abortion is illegal in Minnesota after viability. If the health or life of the mother was in danger, late-term abortions must be performed in a hospital. The PRO Act allows abortion services far beyond these commonsense, consensus guidelines,” Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson and House Minority Leader Lisa DeMuth wrote in a letter to Walz Monday.
“As the PRO Act was being rushed through the legislature, Republicans offered reasonable amendments with guardrails to protect women and children, much of which would have aligned with your previously stated position. These amendments included prohibiting third trimester abortions with exceptions for the life of the mother, a ban on gruesome partial birth abortions, and a requirement that all abortion facilities be licensed to ensure women are provided the safest environment possible. Sadly, each of these amendments were struck down by a Democrat majority,” they continued.
“Without these reasonable protections, the PRO Act goes well beyond current law and is in direct contradiction with your previously stated position that you made clear as you appealed to Minnesotans for a second term.”
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann criticized Walz for lying to voters about his position on late-term abortion.
“While campaigning for a second term, the governor’s campaign assured the voters that he did not support abortion up until birth. By signing this extreme bill into law, Gov. Walz proves that was a lie,” he said. “The bill the governor signed today provides no protections of any kind for women and families — including for infants born alive during botched abortions. Make no mistake, this extreme bill provides for taxpayer-funded abortion, on-demand, up until and even after birth.”