Minnesota Right to Know Law Takes Effect July 1

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Minnesota Right to Know Law Takes Effect July 1

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 30, 2003

St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — It took nearly a decade, but pro-life advocates in Minnesota finally won passage of a pro-life bill that will help women avoid the emotional and physical turmoil of abortion and save the lives of hundreds of unborn children.

On July 1, the Women’s Right to Know bill will take effect and abortion facilities will be required to provide women with information about fetal development and abortion’s risks and alternatives before legally being able to perform an abortion. Similar pro-life laws in other states are credited with reducing the abortion rate by as much as one-third.

Minnesota abortion businesses, who lobbied against the bill, are not pleased at having to implement its requirements. They accuse the Minnesota Health Department, headed by a pro-life advocate, of not providing adequate instructions on how to follow the law.

The Department of Health, which will administer the policy and monitor compliance, was putting the finishing touches on an online work sheet that was to answer questions about specifics.

"I have concerns that they are treating this like a political issue. This should be treated as a health care issue. That’s why providers and health care professionals should be involved," said Tina Smith, vice president of marketing and public relations for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/South Dakota.

Smith said some scheduled abortions may not be able to be performed if they abortion facilities are not yet prepared to follow the law.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood indicated that it will comply with most of the law but will not be providing information required in the statute that it considers medically or scientifically inaccurate — such as data on the link between abortion and breast cancer — setting the stage for another possible legal showdown.

Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, the sponsor of the Right to Know legislation, anticipates a lawsuit from the abortion businesses.

Scott Fischbach agreed. "We fully expect a court challenge from the big abortion industry," he told LifeNews.com about the law. "We have been shown again and again just how radical the pro-abortion movement is — they won’t even allow women more information and 24 hours to reflect on that information before they want to perform the abortion."