‘Worst kind of barbarism’: Minnesota bishop reacts to Walz signing abortion law

"This bill is the most radical abortion law in the country. We must continue to stand against this barbarism," he said. 

Bishop Robert Barron/Twitter

Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester reacted with “anger and frustration” to the passage of the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, which he called “morally outrageous.”

Gov. Tim Walz signed the PRO Act into law Tuesday afternoon, which grants Minnesotans unrestricted access to abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy, up until the moment of birth, and allows for partial-birth abortions. Democrats opposed all 65 amendments to the bill brought to the floor by Senate Republicans, and the bill was passed after 15 hours of debate along party lines.

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted out her support for Walz, saying, “I applaud Gov. Walz for signing a bill codifying reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, into Minnesota state law.”

“I don’t know why this is really debated any more in our country but this strikes me as just the worst kind of barbarism, that in the name of subjectivity and freedom and choice that we are accepting this kind of brutality,” Barron said.

In the video, Barron compared abortion to an intruder breaking in and dismembering a two-day-old baby. “The whole country would rise up in righteous indignation. Yet that same thing can happen with complete impunity as the child is in his mother’s womb,” he said.

Thirteen Catholic legislators, all Democrats, supported the PRO Act, including the leaders of the House and Senate DFL caucuses.

“As inconvenient as it is for some, we cannot ignore the reality of the unborn child in the womb — a living human being who is owed the protection of the community. We cannot allow state-sanctioned violence against a whole class of human beings,” Minnesota’s Catholic bishops said in a letter to lawmakers before the bill passed.

Democrats are also carrying a bill, HF91/SF70, that would repeal Minnesota’s remaining regulations on abortion.

Minnesota Republicans said Walz broke a campaign promise by signing the PRO Act. “Just 6 months ago, when appealing to Minnesotans for a second term, Gov. Walz said he does not support abortion up to the moment of birth,” they wrote.

Walz celebrated the signing of the bill, saying, “Your reproductive freedom will stay protected in Minnesota.”


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.