Yesterday a group of activists came forward to sue the State of Minnesota to force dramatic changes in laws regarding abortion.
A coalition of women's and abortion rights groups, along with the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, announced a lawsuit in St. Paul yesterday, challenging Minnesota's abortion laws as too restrictive. They specifically mentioned the 24-hour waiting period, parental notification in the case of minors seeking abortions, and mandatory counseling. They are looking to use the 1995 Doe v. Gomez case to try to provide a stronger basis for a right to an abortion.
These activists are trying to achieve through a lawsuit what they have not been able to get through elections, namely, the ability to kill a baby at any time, including right after birth. With staunch proponents of abortion in the Attorney General's and Governors' office, they believe they have an excellent opportunity to re-write Minnesota's abortion laws.
But Minnesota already has permissive abortion laws. The only requirements are a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling. The 24-hour waiting period is less than you'd expect to book a doctor visit and the counseling can be done over the phone, according to one abortion clinic website. In Minnesota, if you are poor and on Medicaid, the state will pay for your abortion. The Department of Health doesn't license or inspect abortion clinics, and attempts to pass legislation to that effect have failed. Even parental notification is not parental permission.
Nevertheless, these activists want to argue that Minnesota abortion laws are too restrictive.
What is really going on is that Pro-Abortion activists want to push Minnesota, an already liberal abortion state, to become an extreme, abortion promoting state. This isn't about helping women or promoting choice. It's about promoting abortion.
Why is this happening now? Pro-Abortion activists across the country have felt threatened recently by changes in public opinion on what abortion is, what it does to the woman, and the violent reality of how a life is taken. The film "Unplanned" was a catalyst for discussion as was legislation attempting to address inconvenient facts like fetal pain and that a baby's singular heartbeat can be detected at 6-7 weeks.
This session, Rep. Tim Miller, (R- Prinsburg) a member of the New House Republican Caucus authored a bill and later an amendment to the HHS finance bill which would have made abortion illegal if a fetal heartbeat could be detected. Rep. Miller spoke about how the heartbeat is a universally recognized symbol of life. If someone is ill or injured, if their heart is still beating, we recognize that the person is alive, and we must try to save them. That is, in every case except abortion.
In some states, "heartbeat" legislation has been successful, and for the first time in recent memory, Legislators and Governors have not let the idea that these laws would be struck down by the courts dissuade them. Court challenges were expected and have occurred. The Supreme Court has so far only has deferred these cases to lower court rulings or ruled narrowly, not on the central issues.
Meanwhile, other states have moved to shore up their stance as pro-abortion states by legalizing the killing of newborn infants. Nine states have allowed abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for years: Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, along with Washington, D.C. It's pretty clear that these activists want to add Minnesota to the list.
Unfortunately, we can't count on Attorney General Keith Ellison to uphold the law in this area. He has already shown that he prefers to interpret his role as a political partisan. What we can do is make it clear that by raising our voices to all of our elected officials, that Minnesota will not become an abortion-promoting state. We must continue to insist that the humanity of the most vulnerable members of our society will not be denied, regardless of the circumstances.