Thursday, March 17, 2011

Panels approve three pro-life bills to address abortion, human cloning

The following news release was issued yesterday, March 16.

ST. PAUL — Three protective bills backed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) have been approved by committees in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives this week. The legislation seeks to protect human life from abortion and cloning.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.F. 649 and H.F. 936, would prohibit abortions after the point in pregnancy at which an unborn child can feel pain, which medical evidence demonstrates is (conservatively) 20 weeks from conception. It is based on a landmark Nebraska law enacted last year, which has not been challenged in court. The House Health and Human Services Reform Committee
approved the bill this afternoon on a voice vote.

"Not only do unborn children at 20 weeks after conception have the physiological systems in place to perceive pain, they also move away from painful stimuli and they have increased levels of stress hormones coinciding with when one would expect them to feel pain," MCCL Legislative Associate Andrea Rau testified before the panel.

The Human Cloning Prohibition Act, S.F. 695 and H.F. 998, has been approved on two voice votes. The House Judiciary Policy and Finance and the Senate Health and Human Services committees passed the bill yesterday, which would ban human cloning in Minnesota.

Rau noted that legislators passed a ban on funding of human cloning in 2009, establishing a policy opposed to the practice. "The state has already made clear that it does not support or encourage human cloning. This bill takes the next logical step and prohibits cloning, not just the funding of it with tax dollars," Rau said.

A third measure, to ban taxpayer funding of abortion, S.F. 103 and H.F. 201, was passed by the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee yesterday, 13-4. Long an objective for pro-life Minnesotans, the legislation would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. Minnesota taxpayers paid $1.5 million to the abortion industry for 3,754 abortions in 2008, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services (latest figures).

A March 2010 poll of Minnesota's 8th Congressional district found that 73 percent of registered voters oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions.

"Some may argue that it is discriminatory not to provide low-income women with a taxpayer funded abortion," MCCL Legislative Associate Jordan Marie Bauer testified. "However, federal courts have disagreed with this notion. In fact, for decades, the federal government has forbidden most taxpayer funded abortions."

Each of these bills will be heard by subsequent committees in the House and Senate.

"The 2011 Legislature rightly recognizes that safeguarding vulnerable human life must be a priority and a guiding principle for elected officials," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "MCCL is pleased that state lawmakers are advancing mainstream measures to protect life."

MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization with more than 70,000 member families and 240 chapters across the state. For more information about MCCL, visit