(DailyDig.com) – On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Minnesota Democrat Gov. Tim Walz signed a measure that legalizes abortion without restrictions, becoming the first state to do so since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Walz said the state legislature followed Minnesotans’ wishes during the signing ceremony. He said that they are protecting reproductive freedom. This measure will guarantee reproductive health care for future generations in Minnesota, regardless of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The Protect Reproductive Choices (PRO) Act, also known as H.F. 1, was intended to enshrine in state law the ability to obtain reproductive healthcare options such as abortion, birth control, family planning assistance, and sterilization.
In Minnesota, abortion was already permitted until the second trimester. Sen. Jennifer McEwen (D) wrote the measure to guarantee abortion access regardless of what the courts determine in the future.
Following 14 hours of discussion, the state Senate voted 34-33 in support of the law. At the time, Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson bemoaned its passing. He said it was the most severe law in the nation in terms of youth sterilization and late-term abortion.
“The PRO Act means a right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth. It means that the elective killing of a human being in utero is perfectly legal even in the third trimester of pregnancy, when the child can feel excruciating pain and could live outside the womb. It means that parents have no right to know when their teenage daughter has been taken to undergo an abortion,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser.
MCCL referenced a 2022 KSTP/Survey USA survey showing that just 30% of Minnesotans support abortion-on-demand, unlike Democrats. The pro-life group also noted that lawmakers rejected numerous amendments that would have made the legislation less extreme, such as those that would have protected unborn children in the third trimester (with some exceptions), prohibited partial-birth abortions, and offered anesthesia to fetuses that can feel pain. Another proposal would have required hospitals and state licensure for third-trimester abortions.
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