ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota could follow in the footsteps of Iowa and pass legislation that “prioritizes the right to life.”
State Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) has introduced a bill that would prohibit an abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. Similar legislation was recently passed in Iowa, inspiring Miller to take the framework and make it work for Minnesotans.
“As a strong right-to-life supporter, this is a topic I’ve been working on for two years, but questions over a potential court challenge slowed our progress,” Miller said. “Recently lawmakers in Iowa had the courage to pass a fetal heartbeat bill into law, and I have taken their language and adapted it so the proposal can work in Minnesota.”
Miller’s bill would require a physician to first provide an ultrasound to determine if a fetal heartbeat is detectable before performing an abortion. With the exception of a medical emergency, a physician would be prohibited from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Physicians who violate the requirement could face up to a year in jail, or a $3,000 fine, or both
Meredith Campbell, Public Policy Director for Minnesota Family Council, praised Miller’s bill, calling it an “excellent piece of pro-life legislation.”
“This bill is common sense,” Campbell said. “We applaud the bill author and co-authors who are continuing to champion legislation that recognizes the sanctity of life at every age and stage. Every child’s life should be cherished and we’ll continue to work toward advancing pro-life policy like this to secure protections and affirm the dignity of children in the womb.”
With the 2018 legislative session wrapping up Sunday night, Miller’s bill will wait for next session. With the governor’s race heating up, Miller is hopeful the legislature will have a more pro-life governor to work with next session.
“This is an issue I will prioritize next year, and am hopeful that with a new governor we will make greater progress on all right-to-life issues than we have with Governor Dayton,” Miller said.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who is vocally pro-choice, has blocked previous attempts by Republicans to pass pro-life legislation. Most recently, Dayton vetoed a bill that would have ensured pregnant women the opportunity to see their ultrasound images prior to an abortion. Campbell called out Dayton’s for being “anti-woman,” saying his actions highlights the importance of voting for a “pro-woman, pro-family” gubernatorial candidate this November.
“The Governor’s veto was anti-woman and limits women’s access to medical information and options during pregnancy,” Campbell said. “The Governor’s decision to prevent this piece of bipartisan legislation from becoming law highlights the need for Minnesotans get out to vote for a real pro-woman, pro-family candidate in the gubernatorial race this coming November. Elections have consequences and today, women and children are reaping those consequences.”