Catholic Bishops Slam Minnesota Bill That Would Legalize Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 27, 2023   |   10:51AM   |   St. Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota Catholic bishops urged state lawmakers to reverse course this week on a radical pro-abortion bill that would legalize killing unborn babies up to birth.

Instead of expanding abortion, the bishops said lawmakers should invest their time and efforts into supporting families in need, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“When contemplating policy on any issue, we must consider all those who will be affected. In this case, that includes the mother, father, and most especially, the unborn child whose life is being taken,” the Catholic leaders said in a statement Thursday.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota House passed House File 1 to enshrine a “fundamental right” to abortion without limits into state law. Authored by Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, D-Eden Prairie, the bill would allow abortion on demand even late in pregnancy when unborn babies are viable and can feel excruciating pain. The bill also would deny parents the right to know if their minor daughter is seeking an abortion, according to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

The state Senate is expected to vote on the bill Friday.

Noting the rushed legislative process, the state Catholic bishops urged lawmakers to “pause” and think about what they are condoning, CNA reports. They reminded lawmakers that they have a responsibility to protect all human life, including babies in the womb.

“In a post-Dobbs world in which states that allow abortion have the responsibility to both regulate the practice and protect nascent human life, we should be working to find common ground on the challenges before us in Minnesota,” the bishops said. “We stand firm that every child should be welcomed in life and protected by law.”

ACTION ALERT: Contact members of the Minnesota Senate and urge them to oppose this bill. Contact information for state senators can be found here.

Additionally, the bishops expressed concerns about the legislation eroding religious freedom and parental rights. They said medical workers, pharmacists and others could be forced to help abort unborn babies in violation of their beliefs, and parents could be denied their right to know about or consent to their child’s abortion or sex-transitioning treatments.

Minnesota already has very liberal abortion laws that allow unborn babies to be aborted into the second trimester and force taxpayers to pay for them.

Instead of trying to expand abortions, the Catholic bishops said lawmakers should be working on better ways to support struggling families.

“We also contend that there is a social duty to remove unnecessary barriers to contracting marriage, having children, and being able to raise them well. By raising the family to the top of our state’s policy priorities, we can help restore the family to its proper position as the foundational building block of society where children best flourish,” the bishops said.

They pointed to a set of “Families First” policy proposals from the Minnesota Catholic Conference that call for “nutritional aid for expectant mothers; health care coverage during and after pregnancy for both mother and child; child care assistance; and adequate housing.” They asked lawmakers to consider paid family leave and adoption reform as well.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 10,136 abortions in 2021.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, states may protect unborn babies from abortion again. For almost 50 years, the 1973 ruling forced states to legalize abortions for basically any reason up to viability and allowed abortions up to birth. According to NRLC, more than 64 million unborn babies were legally aborted under Roe.

Now, many state are moving in opposite directions on the issue, with Republican-led states passing laws that protect unborn babies and mothers and Democrat-led states working aggressively to expand abortions.

Two new polls show growing public support for legal protections for unborn babies. A Marist College poll found 69 percent of Americans support limiting or banning abortions, up from 62 percent in June. Another new poll from UMass Amherst found a 5-percent drop in those who say Congress should pass a law to make abortions legal nation-wide and a 6-percent increase in support for a national abortion ban, WCVB News reports.

ACTION ALERT: Contact members of the Minnesota Senate and urge them to oppose this bill. Contact information for state senators can be found here.