Wednesday 22 May 2024

Minnesota Democrats Fail To Move Forward Effort To Put Abortion In State Constitution

 An effort in Minnesota to place a right to abortion in the state constitution failed as the narrowly-controlled Democrat Senate was unable to pass the so-called “Equal Rights Amendment” before the legislative session ended for the year.

The amendment would have allowed voters in 2026 to vote to place a right to an abortion into the state constitution and expanded protections against discrimination to gender and sexual identity. The proposed amendment protected the right for women to “become or remain pregnant,” meaning she could legally end the life of her unborn child.

The state House passed the bill over the weekend; the Senate, which Democrats control by one seat, did not take up the legislation.

The amendment, which passed the Democrat-controlled state House, was criticized by conservatives, who pointed out that the language that would have been added to the state constitution was different from what would have appeared on the ballot.

The proposed amendment would have read: “persons shall be guaranteed equal rights under the laws of this state. The state shall not discriminate against any person in intent or effect on account of one or more of the following: (a) race; (b) color; (c) national origin; (d) ancestry; (e) disability; or (f) sex, including but not limited to: (i) making and effectuating decisions about all matters relating to one’s own pregnancy or decision whether to become or remain pregnant; (ii) gender identity or gender expression; or (iii) sexual orientation.”

However, the language that voters would have seen at the ballot would have read: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to say that all persons shall be guaranteed equal rights under the laws of this state, and shall not be discriminated against on account of race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, or sex, including pregnancy, gender, and sexual orientation?”

Rep. Kaohly Vang Her, a sponsor of the amendment, said that she put forth the legislation because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.


“A case that was as good as law to us was overturned and rights across the country were taken away from many, many individuals looking to make decisions for themselves for their bodily autonomy,” she said. “Whether you’re somebody who is looking for gender-affirming care or you were someone who was looking to have access to an abortion. We saw those rights being infringed upon.”

Earlier this month, a group of pro-life advocates showed up at the capitol building to protest the abortion provision.

The failure for Democrats comes as they have just a one-seat majority that has been endangered by the arrest of one Democrat senator for burglary.

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