Guest Opinion: We needs commonsense laws for protecting life

Even most “pro-choice” constituents I have talked to find Minnesota Democrats' abortion bills far too extreme.

Wesenberg headshot
State Sen. Nathan Wesenberg, R-Little Falls.
Contributed / 2023

Life is precious and it must be honored and protected. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats fail to see the importance of doing so. In fact, they have already passed one extreme abortion bill, and they have others primed and ready to go. I am disappointed that they’ve chosen to take such an extreme direction with their policies.

The first abortion bill they passed was SF-1, which completely opened up all abortions and “reproductive care,” which they failed to even define in the bill. The entire piece of legislation was one page long — that’s all they deemed necessary for legislating on such a deeply sensitive and emotional topic. I’ve made clear how I feel on this topic. The bill was disturbing, and it did nothing to recognize science, despite Democrats’ repeated mantra of “trust the science.” They forced through an extreme piece of legislation that opened up abortion with no safeguards or limitations.

Republicans fought long and hard against this bill, and we took debate into the early hours of the next day. We offered commonsense amendments in an attempt to bring the Democrats back down to earth, but they voted down every single one on party line votes. We tried to ban third trimester abortions, partial birth (dilation and extraction) abortions, and abortions due to down syndrome. I even offered an amendment that simply recognizes the scientific fact that life begins at conception. They didn’t even want to hear that argument.

In my opinion, that wasn’t even the worst of the anti-life bills — SF-70 easily supersedes SF-1 as the “most extreme” bill. This awful piece of legislation repeals the “Born Alive Infants Protection Act,” which was put in place to protect babies that have survived abortions, i.e., if a late term abortion fails and the baby is born alive, they are OK with murdering the baby. This bill also repeals a number of important laws and statutes: parental notification before abortions performed on minors, women's right to know, the law that states only physicians may perform abortions, and a law that requires the state to collect abortion data. This bill is horrific in every way, and Democrats are pushing it to the floor and are once again refusing to entertain any amendments offered by a Republican.

I am disappointed at the lack of interest in protecting life. Even most “pro-choice” constituents I have talked to find these bills far too extreme. These bills do not represent the interests of Greater Minnesota. This bill will likely come before the Senate in the next few weeks, and now more than ever, constituents need to make their voices heard on this issue. Minnesotans expect both parties to come together to pass commonsense laws that make our state a better place for everyone. So far, each bill the Democrats have forced through has been extreme and divisive, and they have shut out half of the state’s voice. This is not the way our government was meant to work.


Nathan Wesenberg represents District 10 in the Minnesota Senate.

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