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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, January 20, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

House Democrats approved a pro-abortion bill last evening that goes to extreme measures, far beyond codifying Roe vs. Wade in Minnesota as they advertised. The affirmative votes they took on the bill go far beyond simply a “yes” or “no” on abortion in general.

The extreme bill House Democrats passed makes abortion, already legal in Minnesota under Doe v. Gomez, available at any time during a pregnancy, again, with no guardrails. It makes our state an outlier in the United States and western world – putting our abortion policy on par with just seven countries in the world, including aligning with radical regimes such as North Korea and China.

According to the bill, a woman can get an abortion at any time throughout her pregnancy. The bill does nothing to ensure that a woman seeking an abortion receives one in a safe or licensed environment. Second- or third- term abortions do not need to take place in a hospital, despite posing medical risks.

House Republicans offered reasonable, common-sense amendments to this bill that would provide protections for women and children, but House Democrats blocked each one. Refusing to license abortion facilities or protect a child from being aborted in the third trimester – even with the exceptions of rape, incest, or health of the mother – is extreme and not supported by the vast majority of Minnesotans.

This shows the extreme nature of this bill and how it is far more than just about codifying Roe vs. Wade. I delivered a brief speech on the House floor to express my opposition to this bill before pressing the “no” button on the vote. Here is an excerpt:

“Today is a sad day in Minnesota. Each day, I arrive at the capitol optimistic about facing new challenges and seeking solutions for the people of Minnesota. Today, I arrived with dread and apprehension, knowing what the outcome of today’s debate likely will be.

We hear a lot of talk about extremism. [Last fall] I think virtually every Republican was branded as an extremist. What is an extremist? Webster says it’s being excessive or radical. Does that really describe the folks over here? Paul Anderson? John Petersburg?

We value life. We do recognize that abortion is here. But is it really extremist to believe, as many Republicans do, that rape, incest, or the life of the mother should be the qualifiers. …

People chain themselves to trees to save the life of it.

But you are willing to kill a baby, even out of the womb. That is extreme.

So, if we are branded as extreme because we value the lives of the unborn, so be it. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, extremism in the defense of the unborn is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of protecting the voiceless is no virtue.”

Thanks to everyone who has reached out supporting reasonable positions on this sensitive subject. House Republicans did all they could to stop this bill from advancing but, in the end, House Democrats had enough votes as a majority to make it pass. The Senate now has this bill, representing our last hope for it stalling before reaching the governor for enactment into law.