Minnesota is moving forward to try to pass a ban on abortion after 20 weeks based on the unproven notion that fetuses "feel pain." The fetal pain bill made it out of senate committee based on Republican support.
One slight difference between the Minnesota bill and other states: an amendment to set up a legal fund associated with the law. Although the original version of the bill made it sounds as if the fund would be used much like the South Dakota anti-abortion defense fund, where donors can pledge money to be spent by the state on legal challenges, MN Daily reports that this fund has a new twist:
Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, said she is concerned by a provision in the bill that gives money to Minnesota’s Attorney General to prosecute cases where the abortions were provided after 20 weeks gestation.
While [bill supporter Sen. Gretchen] Hoffman said the money will be funded by private donations, Berglin was concerned that the language of the bill was unclear and suggested that the money would come from state taxes.
So private donors get to pay for the A.G. to prosecute abortion providers? I can't even begin to fathom how this would work or who thought this was a good idea.
Like many other states pushing the 20 week abortion ban, proponents claim that since the same law was passed in Nebraska and it wasn't challenged in court, it must in fact be good law. Good apparently outweighs constitutional.
Minnesota also passed a bill that would outlaw taxpayer funded abortions, a constitutional right in the state since 1995. Both bills, if passed, are expected to be vetoed by the governor.
Video of highlights of the committee meetingl is below.