Archbishop Bernard Hebda released a video Jan. 25 urging people to reach their state senators to head off what the archbishop called “part of the most extreme abortion legislative agenda in Minnesota history.”
The state Senate is expected to debate a bill Jan. 27 that would place the right to abortion into state law. Its companion bill, HF1, known as the Protect Reproductive Options Act, or PRO Act, passed the House Jan. 19, and Gov. Tim Walz has said he would sign the legislation into law if it reached his desk.
“Our most vulnerable brothers and sisters need our help right now,” the archbishop said in the video and in a statement on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis website.“The PRO Act is part of the most extreme abortion legislative agenda in Minnesota history, allowing for abortion for any reason and at any time without any regulation. How disturbing that a pre-born child whose heart is beating, who can feel pain and who may even be viable outside the womb is treated with such disdain,” the archbishop said.
“I ask you to educate yourself on this issue and join me in emailing and calling your state senator immediately to express your views on the proposed legislation,” the archbishop said. “It seems to me that instead of spending tax dollars to support the taking of human life, we should be investing in ways to support families, babies, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, such as with the state child tax credit. It’s that simple. We need more love and support, not death.”
Archbishop Hebda and Minnesota’s six other Catholic bishops wrote a letter as well, only hours before the House vote, that was hand-delivered to all lawmakers.
Minnesota Catholic Conference, which represents the public policy concerns of the bishops, set up a website link to help people reach their state senators to protest the bill. And MCC was sharing the new video with the archbishop in its communications.
Minnesota’s Supreme Court found a constitutional right to abortion in the state in a 1995 ruling. Backers of codifying a right to abortion argued that placing it in state law would be added security after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned its 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal across the country. The federal high court’s latest ruling placed the issue of abortion back into the hands of state and federal lawmakers.
In their letter, Archbishop Hebda and the state’s other Catholic bishops also urged legislators to vote against a bill moving through the House, HF91, that would remove protections for abortion-minded mothers and their babies. Among other measures, HF91 would remove protections for babies born alive after an abortion that were established in the state’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which requires reasonable medical care for an infant surviving abortion.
HF91, and its companion bill in the Senate, SF70, also would remove parental notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion and the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law. And it would remove Minnesota’s abortion reporting law, an annual report on procedure statistics prepared by the Minnesota Department of Health. Those protections also were struck down in a lawsuit that is being challenged.
“We are disappointed to see the quick pace at which these destructive bills are moving, and we hope to give legislators pause,” the bishops said in their letter, released by MCC. “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.”
“We stand firm that every child should be welcomed in life and protected by law,” said Archbishop Hebda and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Williams of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Bishops Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Daniel Felton of Duluth, Chad Zielinski of New Ulm, Donald Kettler of St. Cloud and Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester.
Read the complete article from The Catholic Spirit