This Sunday, April 14, marks the 10th anniversary of Governor Tim Pawlenty’s signing of the Woman’s Right to Know law that is saving lives in Minnesota every day. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) was instrumental in assisting state lawmakers to pass this lifesaving measure into law.
Enactment of Woman’s Right to Know followed an epic nine-year legislative war that involved endless legislative committee hearings, numerous floor votes over nine consecutive legislative sessions, and three different vetoes from pro-abortion Governors Arne Carlson and Jesse Ventura.
“This protracted fight to inform and empower women was well worth the effort, and remains a reminder that through perseverance, justice for women can be achieved,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach.
Woman’s Right to Know is a straightforward “informed consent” law that empowers a woman seeking an abortion. Women considering abortion are now provided a wide range of information (in English, Spanish, Braille and audio recording) compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health about abortion, including medical facts, risks and complications, alternatives and information about agencies that offer aid. One of the most important provisions of the law is that once the woman is provided the informed consent information, she is given 24 hours of reflection prior to undergoing an abortion.
The law took effect on July 1, 2003, and the impact has been dramatic. Every year since enactment, many more pregnant women have been provided the Woman’s Right to Know information than actually have aborted. In 2011 alone, 13,645 women were provided information and only 11,071 actually went ahead with the abortion—a difference of 2,574!
From its enactment in 2003 through 2011 (the last available report from the Minnesota Department of Health), records indicate that 15,696 women have chosen life for their unborn children after receiving the Woman’s Right to Know information.
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Woman’s Right to Know has also been a leading factor in the reduction of abortion numbers, as well as the abortion rate. The number of abortions reported to the Minnesota Department of Health has decreased every year except for one since the law took effect.
“We commend Gov. Pawlenty and all the DFL and GOP legislators who fought for so many years to make this possible,” Fischbach added.
LifeNews Note: Bill Poehler is the communications director for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.