Minn. Senate Panel Considers Abortion Restrictions

By Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO and Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A proposal to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy is now before Minnesota’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

Andrea Rau is with Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life. She gave graphic testimony of how she believes abortions are done on a 20-week fetus.

“Unborn children, at 20 weeks after conception, have the physiological system in place to perceive pain,” said Rau.

WCCO’s Susie Jones Interviews Rau

Those against the ban were also on hand, with some law professors taking issue with the constitutionality of the bill.

Earlier Turesday afternoon, committee members passed a bill that would prohibit using public dollars for abortions for low-income women on state-funded health care programs..

Karen Law, the director of Pro Choice Resources, said she understands how some feel abortions are immoral.

“But is it moral to force a woman to choose between food for her family or paying for the medical care she seeks,” said Law. “Is it moral for women to risk being evicted from her home simply because she paid for her abortion rather than pay her rent?”

WCCO’s Susie Jones Interviews Law

More from Susie Jones
  • zee the reporter

    it’s a woman’s choice! zee reporting!

    • Mr. Johnson

      Abortion is murderer, Torturing babies. I agreed to stop abortion, whatever you do please do it the right way. SO, STOP ABORTION

      • Unreal

        Mr. Johnson,
        How many babies have you saved and adopted from not being aborted?

      • Mandy

        Mr Johnson-If abortion is murder, than so is a miscarriage………….

        • Joy

          Mandy, you are either very, very young or incredibly misinformed. Having suffered 2 miscarriages myself, your comment was horribly insensitive. In NO WAY did I make the choice to end my babies’ lives. Miscarriage is an unfortunate physiological termination of pregnancy with the mother’s will playing no part in it. Abortion is an act of the mother’s WILL to end the pregnancy. Shame on you for equating the two. To all the women who cry tears of grief because they have lost a baby due to miscarriage, and who can not fathom the idea of purposely ending the life of your own flesh and blood, my sincere condolences.

      • Angel Andrews

        a human foetus is technically a parasite until around the 24-26 weeks when it may viably live outside the human body…

        yes, abortions are bad, and if we lived in a perfect world, this word would not exist… BUT ALAS, this world is NOT PERFECT, and so because of this, abortions need to be available to those that DECIDE TO HAVE ONE… it is their choice, not yours, not mine, not ANYONE ELSE’S.

        • Joy

          Technically a baby can’t survive on its own even after birth, so by your definition, any child who is unable to care for itself is a “parasite”. A baby may be able to breath on his/her own, but unless someone feeds and changes the babe, the baby would eventually die. I just love it when people equate babies with parasites. It just proves that we live in a culture that conyinues to find ways to devalue life.

  • Reagan

    The government should stay out of it, I really want some old balls senator telling me what to do with my baby.

    • Andre

      Reagan: you wrote “The government should stay out of it, I really want some old balls senator telling me what to do with my baby.”

      I think that you meant to write “my body” but you wrote “my baby”, but something tells me that deep down you meant “my baby”, because you know deep down that it was a baby, not a clump of cells, and you are in great suffering now.

      There are people out there who will love you right through your pain if you just reach out to them. There is a way out, and you can heal from this. The people at Rachel’s Vineyard are wonderful. Don’t continue to suffer unnecessarily, give them a call. http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

  • Wants a Vote!

    It should be the taxpayer’s choice if we want to have our tax money pay for those abortions. Plus, people, use your logic here. Those who “think” those who are having abortions (especially early in the pregnancy) are only aborting “tissues” or whatever lies are planted, then look at any ultrasound at that pregnancy to SEE the baby’s heartbeat inside! Why should anyone have the right to abort this child at 20 weeks (I’d like to say any week, but this country doesn’t agree at this time), when you logically KNOW you have a baby there! (Again, the lies are it is only tissue, right?) So let’s put it to the people to vote, not just our one representative!

    • Amanda

      Why???? are they asking you to do it yourself? I don’t think so… it is a personal choice, again stay away from my life….

    • Nice Try

      It should be the taxpayer’s choice if we want to have our tax money pay for Wars, Stadiums, Light Rail, and a whole lot of other things too then. Paying taxes doesn’t give you the right to choose what it is spent on, only to vote for the people that do the spending.

  • JMJ

    I believe a woman has a choice, but it is not the tax payers problem. You get yourself knocked up fine. Your body, but not my dollar. If you don’t want to get pregnant and can’t afford an abortion keep your legs closed. Or go by a condom.

    • Lola

      JMJ. She doesn’t get “Knocked up” as you so eloquently stated, all by herself. How about a little responsibility on the man’s part too? No contraceptive is 100% and we all know that abstinence is a pipe dream. An unwanted pregnancy is not something most people take lightly and I would rather see a small amount of money going towards an abortion instead of 18 years paying for a child someone can’t afford.

      • Jeannie

        @Lola- You said that “would rather see a small amount of money going towards an abortion instead of 18 years paying for a child someone can’t afford.” You assume that the ones pondering over abortion are low on money, & don’t make enough, cause they need public assistance.Guess what?? Public help is there for those in transition, victims of the economy, health set backs, so many reasons! I would bet you know someone on public assistance that works their butt off, if you have been keeping up on the economy, there are many hard working Americans that can not afford health insurance, need help for food etc… possible you are generalizing?? Hope you meet a child that was considered for an abortion. Look at that child, and ask if they deserved the right to thrive, and live. (good thing your mom was wealthy enough to give you everything you desired as a child)

    • Broke

      I agree with JMJ. If you get pregnant and need an abortion do it on your own dime. No one pays for any of my medical expenses.

      • Common Sense

        There are some out there that don’t believe in abortion and will use any propaganda they can. The one where they use “my tax dollars” is a total fallacy. Where do you think low income mothers get the money to take care of that baby after it’s born (after you don’t care about that child anymore)? With that said, 20 weeks is quite a long time and not totally unreasonable. However, you give a mouse a cookie and soon it will be 16, 14, 10, etc. Don’t believe me there either? Luckily I don’t have to worry about any such decision and I certainly don’t need to stick myself into anyone’s personal rights.

        • Norge

          Well then why stop at the murder of the unborn, lets get rid of all of societies ‘unwanted’ and just call it a “societal abortion”…..I nominate common sense for the first! Because he is neither common nor has any sense.

      • Mark

        Funny, aren’t unwanted children societies problem? Don’t we have to pay to take care of them? Or are you advocating that no abortions should be legal, but once the baby is born it can die in the gutter for all you care?

      • Scrooge

        JMJ and Broke- I don’t have a problem paying for a women’s abortions as much as I hate paying for your children’s public education.

        • Common Sense

          Well said Scrooge.

        • Angel Andrews

          especially when the kids usually don’t give a rat’s arse if they pay attention in school, and a great deal of parents out there just don’t care enough to encourage them…

        • momoffour

          And who paid for your education as a child? How can you get the benefit of an education, and then say you don’t owe another child the same?

          For that matter, as you grow older who’s going to be your doctor, your grocery, your garbage collector? That’s right…it’s the children of today who are going to keep this world rolling while you enjoy the benefits of their labor. I have four boys that I am raising to become good, hard-working citizens. The pittance you spend for public education is nothing compared to the amount of time and money I spend raising them. So let’s make a deal…you don’t have to pay anything to help education children, but you won’t be able to reap the benefits of their labor when they are grown. That means in your old age you can bury your own trash, raise your own food, and perform your own medical procedures.

          • momoffour

            should read “to help educate children”

  • smb

    Why is it Republicans are all about small government when it comes to government money and regulations on big business but when it comes to my personal life they feel they have the right to stick their noses in.

    • Jimmy

      Because that is the irony of the republican party. Just a bunch of ignorant fools…

      • Reasonable

        Support Gay Marriage as it rarely results in an opportunity to restrict an abortion!

        I kid because I love.

        • susan

          here here !

  • Yelper

    I can see the good ol lazy GOP is focusing on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS…LOL!!!

    These people are crazy batty nuts…

    • Wants a Vote!

      How is it by putting this on a ballot for the PEOPLE to vote (you can get out and have the chance to vote) not focusing on JOBS? Think!

      • smb

        But they aren’t putting it on the ballot. If they did they know they’d lose.

  • Big John

    Yeah, those anti-abortionists are just like the gun freaks in their wacky thinking patterns. Geez, go get a job loosers!

  • Kimberly

    A baby is not a baby until it is born!

    • JB

      If it is not a baby, then you are not pregnant. By definition being pregnant is to have a baby growing inside of you.

      • Jeannie

        Suck on that, Kimmy!

      • Mike

        JB-It’s not a baby. If it is, can we start throwing women in jail when the miscarriage?

        • Jason

          Miscarriage is not abortion, a (doctor) separating a babys head from spinal cord is. Is this really confusing??

  • James

    Do you think these republicans will want to take care of all the crack babies that are not aborted….

    Of course not, they will let them live miserable lives on the streets and in jail because that is what republicans want them to do. Its like they want everyone to feel as miserable as they do…

    • Flower child

      @James. The GOP only cares about tissue in the womb and fetuses. Once you’re born, you’re on your own!

      • Jason

        Protecting someone who cannot is nobel. When im old and feeble I hope ive lived a good life so my loved ones can protect my interests.

  • Joy

    There are several nonprofit pregnancy care centers throughout the twin cities which employ licensed social workers that can help women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. They provide access to healthcare, adoption services, housing and financial counseling, as well as diapers, formula, baby items and clothing. New Lufe Family Services also developed a Parenting Plus program that educates women who choose to keep their babies on how to care for their child. This notion that pro-lifers could care less
    about the baby or the mom once the baby is
    born is a lie.

    • Joy

      Should read “New Life Family Services”, sorry for typo.

      • Citizen

        @Joy. Those nonprofits provide great services. However……where is all their support coming from? Private funds? Because the GOP sure doesn’t want ANY of these places to have public funds, do they? Or is that just Planned Parenthood. Most of the people I know do not have the means to provide these great nonprofit agencies with money because they are too busy trying to survive these days. So, where is the money coming from?

        • Joy

          The onsite social workers help the women apply for publicly funded services such as medical, housing and food. But the baby items and I believe the adoption services, as well as free ultrasounds given licensed technicians, are privately funded and at no charge to the client. There are many people who donate their money and time to these organizations because they believe in the cause. Don’t let liberals make you believe that prolifers are cold towards women who choose abortions. I saw many women being shown respect and care, even if they chose to abort. I volunteered at New Life for several years. Never did I hear one harsh or hateful comment directed at Planned Parenthood, abortion proponents, or doctors who perform abortions. The focus was always on the women and the babies.

          • Mike

            Joy and Dan- Their were 12388 abortions performed in Minnesota in 2009, is NLFS set up to support 33 woman a day?

            • Joy

              Mike, NLFS is not the only pregnancy care center in the twin cities, and they have several locations. I can’t speak directly for NLFS, but it is my understanding that through several fundraisers held throughout the year, they are prepared to help any number of women who needs assistance. The goal is to offer an alternative to abortion, provide parenting education, assist with licensed adoptions, and help get the necessary assistance to support a mother who chooses to keep her baby. These are all very positive goals, and the fruit has been many baby’s lives saved.

        • dan


          The GOP doesnt have any problems with funding an adoptive/counseling center like New Life Family Services. What they do have a problem with is publicly funded abortion clinics that hide behind the planned parenthood mask. Centers like NLFS are a wonderful organization that helps thousands of families every year.

          • Amanda

            OK, let me get this straight… so you are saying it’s not about the money??? they have a problem funding planned parenthood, just cause we need to make cuts, to save money… but in the other hand they think they have all the money in the world to support adoptive/counseling centers… is it that double standards??? oh wait that is totally what the GOP is all about… double standards

            • dan

              So you like spending govt money on planned parenthood centers to abort your unborn/unplanned babies and having the govt tell you what you can do with your unborn baby? I didnt think so. According to your comment above you dont want govt involved with your choice as a woman. You should more than happy to support the GOP if they want to cut all funding to planned parenthood.
              My GOP opinion of what should and should not be supported is certainly my opinion and just because other GOP members choose to cut all funding doesnt mean all GOP follow the tail of the pony.
              Pretty hard to knock the work of NLFS.

              • Amanda

                @ Dan, I do have an opinion of my own, while I do agree with some republicans, about small government, I DO NOT AGREE THAT THEY HAVE THEIR NOSES ON SOCIAL ISSUES. PERIOD, SPECIALLY IF THEY DO IT IN THE NAME OF RELIGION.

                • Carlie

                  Girl, quit while you still have some dignity. Your previous comments do not support your last statment. Period. Also, when ranting and you say Period. That should be the end, dont keep ranting. Just sayin’

                • Amanda


              • Amanda

                Double standards…. double standards!

                • dan


                  Thats the difference between the Republican me and the Democrat you. I can walk the middle and have my opinions without checking into the GOP official play book. You on the other hand are wagged like the tail of a dog. You have no opinion except what the Demo’s tell you.

  • Dave Campbell

    Twenty days left to balance the budget and create all the jobs they promised us and they are focusing on this? Time for the GOP to get off their self righteous butts and get to work!

    • Sick of sick of

      This idea that government is going to create a job for you in this recession or somehow owes you a job is simply stupid! Government can only create an environment that encourages job creation by reducing regulations and lowering taxes. The GOP controlled Minnesota legislator would like to do that, but Dayton is certain to veto any thing that encourages business.

      No one is going to give you a job. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU. Get off of your sofa and go and find or create a job-two if need be-but quit whining! Is 3 years of continuous unemployment benefits not enough for you?

      • Mark

        Yes, there aren’t enough jobs so get off your butt and find one… wait. So the gov doesn’t owe us the opportunity to work for a living? But if we don’t work for a living we are lazy? How can I work a job that isn’t there? Why is it my fault now that companies have outsourced every possible job? The government is the lender of last resort, but so too it needs to be the employer of last resort. There are plenty of things that need to be done in the US, but are not lucratively profitable. Has anyone noticed the marked decline in infrastructure? We need to increase taxes and fund massive upgrades in our infrastructure with public works projects. We need to invest in things that return more than they cost in terms of public good, things that enable business expansion. We need a more robust smart grid, we need to move to hydroponics, we need a real long term energy policy that does not include fossil fuels. If we do not build things like this and many others we will continue to deteriorate until the country collapses in on itself. We need to stop spending on wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. This is our sputnik moment, but instead of vowing to go to the moon and then going there, we have vowed to start thinking about maybe making a plan, but lets all argue for a while first. Abortion is something we can discuss in 20 years, when we have the time. Hopefully by then people will finally realize you cannot force someone to give birth, it is just not ethical. If you want to reduce abortions, create a society where no woman would want to deny a child the opportunity to enter it, instead of the meat grinder we live in today.

        • successNOT

          If you cant find a job your a p.o.s., im 36 and have had a job since i was 15 nonstop, maybe itsd less the economy then you Mark you may be unemployable what a sad man you’ve become

          • Charles

            successNOT-Eventually your going to hit middle age and guys won’t want your services anymore. I am too old to work as a gay escort like you…..

            • Carlie

              There ya go. You dont have a valid point so you go for name calling. Nice one Charles.

            • Sick of sick of


              I guess we are at a respectful impasse then.

              You seem to think the GOP is the devil with it’s emphasis (propaganda as you call it) on free enterprise, personal responsibility and hard-work that is driving business out of MInnesota.

              I think it is the Democratic party that is the problem with their unending welfare programs dependent on taxes and regulations on the very people and businesses that pay the taxes used to fund those programs.

              I want to thank you for thinking that I have the intellectual ability to take care of myself. Thank you very much, but I think it has far more to do with the American work ethic that was instilled in me when I was very young, than with my intellectual abilities.

        • William

          Wow Mark, that could be the DNC keynote speech in 2012! Sometimes we all make off the cuff comments, but you aluding to “companies have outsourced every possible job” That’s a big statement and true in certain industries over the past 50 years like electronic components to the far East, but man you need to move on. Get a new degree, find a new field of work pull yourself up and stop waiting on the govt to be the “employer of last resort”. I have been in the Mortgage Industy for over 10 years and have seen how bad a job can be these days. I have chosen to stick it out, and continue to make a living, but there are plenty of ex-loan officers singing the same tune as you even though there is still a thriving business if you have the ambition and creativity to make it work.

          • Mike

            William-47,000 manufacturing companies have folded or left for foreign shores and the Republicans have done nothing to date to create jobs except the same old trickle down policies that never work. Good for you to stick it out, but I bet 10 to 1 your a silver spoon brat on someones welfare and it is the only real way you have been able to make ends meet.

            • Sick of sick of

              Mark, Mike and Charlie-

              Reread your rants boys. You guys need to move on. You guys have a real bad case of “old poor me” that is going to kill what you have left of your working years. No Democrat or Republican politician is going to create or find a job for you. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. Good Luck!

              • Citizen

                @Sick of sick of. Obviously, you have not talked to a highly skilled worker who has lot a job because it went overseas or because the company wanted to get rid of older employees whose health insurance and benefits cost more. Right now government statistics point out that older workers have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession for the last 4 years with an unemployed statistic over 6% What choice do many have except to get social security early, if they are old enough? Then what do they do for medical insurance? Age discrimination is against the law but that law is toothless. I have had older friends told right to their faces that the employer wants a younger, less skilled, less educated employee. The employer DOES NOT CARE that it is illegal. Pray tell, what is an older worker to do? Can they all be employed at McDonald’s? Too many of them for that, too…..If jobs don’t exist, THEY DON’T EXIST!

                • Citizen

                  @Sick of sick of. I am so glad you had the great intellectual ability to be self-employed and productive. Not everyone is as fortunate as you despite GOP propaganda that we should all be able to take care of ourselves. You can’t legislate intelligence or talent or ability. The GOP is sure trying though! I am glad you were so successful on your own. Others just aren’t so fortunate….

                • Sick of sick of


                  I am 61 and started my first ever business at 54. I am now working at something I love and doing very well. I would of went to work at almost anything, including McDonald’s, if I had to to take care of my family. Sitting on my couch waiting for someone to find me a job or give me unemployment benefits is not how I was raised. There are are always opportunities, because this is America.

    • Citizen

      Dave. They can’t deliver on the promises you mention, so they have to stir up their “base” voters (pun intended) and deliver SOMETHING. Something that is understandable to that “base.” Tax law is difficult. And the GOP really doesn’t have any solutions–just magic tricks.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Churchill said a long time ago socialists spew hate at anyone who doesn’t want to pay for their garbage.

    Socialism is a religion of hate.

    • Jeannie

      And unborn babies are garbage??

      • Common Sense


        • Joy

          Sincewhen does tissue have a heartbeat? Ever seen an ultrasound? Even at 6 weeks gestation you can see a heartbeat and movement.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Socialism is a reward system for the stupid.

  • Valerie

    Definitely a ban on abortion for pregnancies after 20 wks.
    The government should pay for ALL abortions & be glad these women are choosing to do that. We don’t need any more women/children on welfare or children growing up being abused & unwanted.

    • Jeannie

      Valerie-Do you honestly think all those that are low on money will stay that way, will never make enough, and always be in need of public assistance?? Guess what?? Public help is there for those in transition! There are many who are victims of the economy, health set backs, so many more reasons one would need the “help”! I would bet you know someone on public assistance that works their butt off! If you have been keeping up on the economy, there are many hard working Americans that can not afford health insurance, need help for food etc… possible you are generalizing??
      Hope you meet a child that was considered for an abortion. Look at that child, and ask yourself if they deserved the right to thrive, and live. (good thing your mom NEVER abused you, and was wealthy enough to give you everything you desired as a child)

    • regretful

      I was in college when I had an abortion. I could have choosen adoption. I could have kept the baby. It would have been tough, but I could have survived and gotten to a better place while still having a baby. It is my one deep regret in life…that I killed my first child. I can tell you that abortion clinics DO NOT give women all the necessary information to make an informed decision. I was wavering about having an abortion, but I was being given a lot of incorrect information from the clinic. They were just seeing me as a dollar sign and wanting to “make the sale”.

      My baby would not have been abused, unwanted or on welfare…I was ruled by fear and being lead around by unscrupulous people. I truly believe no woman “wants” an abortion…but our society pushes it on her. We need to change that mindset!

  • Mr Johson

    Many children were born Deaf, Disability, Mutes, bad legs,Arms, eyes or else is because the uses of drugs that trying to get rid of the unborn child but failed and then that child were born bad with all things, don’t blame the nature cause, blame bad mom or bad father of the child.

  • Not a Political Game

    Abortion always turns into a huge dramatic political fight. I think the issue that is being brought up in this article is that a fetus/baby/piece of tissue is very likely to feel the pain of an abortion. I understand women don’t want to be told what or what not to do with there bodies, but by the time you are 20 weeks you are well into the 2nd trimester of pregnancy and in a short 4 weeks that fetus/baby/piece of tissue can survive outside the womb (i will admit with substantial support of medical intervention).

    Where do we draw the line for abortion because there obviously needs to be a line somewhere….1 trimester? 2 trimester? 20 weeks? 30 weeks? Full Term? Abortion is EXTREMELY controversial because that line is SO HARD to draw. When does a baby have the right to life? When does abortion become a human rights issue. I personally think the majority (not all-but a large portion) of people have very little information on abortion and the stages of pregnancy and don’t clearly think through these questions.

  • Joy

    PLEASE take the time to read this from:


    5:30 PM

    My child, when the heart suffers it desires comfort and when My heart suffers it is surrounded by wounds ever so deep. When the heart suffers it desires not to suffer any longer. My child, I too do not desire to suffer any longer for I continue to feel the crowning of thorns, yet they are no longer on My head but surrounding My Most Sacred Heart for I am Jesus.

    My child, I have assigned a particular soul to you. I desire for you to pray many Chaplets for her for she has had many abortions. So many of My young children are being misguided, misled, by this world that does not see life within the womb.

    How many birthdays go uncelebrated? How many voices go silent? How many missions go unfulfilled? How many more lives are lost because of these missions going unfulfilled? My child, I weep for the blood of the innocent is what is calling for the world to find great justice. Mercy will become less and justice will become greater. My little ones are only given an unjust death. There bodies thrown into piles of no regard for My creation, My plan.

    My child, if you only could see the number of these little souls that have been aborted and continue to be aborted you would come to understand why when I look down upon mankind I only see a small remnant for the course of humanity is forever changed. Herod lives on today in the hearts of many of your leaders. They order death in the womb instead of death on a cross. The crucifixion has moved into the womb. One by one the family is being destroyed. Husbands and wives, men and women, married or unmarried, the sin of Adam and Eve is being personified.

    If St. Joseph had not fulfilled his role, then My Mother could have become one of Herod’s victims. Do you see, My daughter, each person has a purpose, a single mission to fulfill, yet it must comply with the divine plan. Where are the voices of My priest sons who are called to be like John the Baptist? Where are the prayers of My children who are being distracted by the ways of the world?

    My child, each day, each hour your life story is being written and I only desire your story to bring forth My glory and honor. The only way humanity will ever find peace is if the world converts to My mercy for I am Jesus and all will done according to My will.

    • Barbie

      jesus who?

  • Alex

    Abortion and same sex marriage issues are none of other people’s business. Please keep your insecurities to yourself and if you reallly want to make this country better, think about how to provide better education for our children. The quality of education in the US is some of the lowest among the developed nations. Scary!

  • MAJ

    A big thanks to the three young women that chose to have their babies and later place them for adoption. Those three wonderful children are my grandchildren. There definitely is an option. Way too few children are placed for adoption.

  • me

    I was married at a very young age and despite all the methods used, we became pregnant. We were both laid off at the time and very ,very broke so we weighed our options, including abortion, and decided to continue onward. This was during the early 80s when the economy was much like it is today. While I know it was right to have my baby, I wouldn’t want to make the same decision for another woman. Abortions are going to happen, legally or not. We need to keep it as safe as possible so that women are not getting back alley abortions and then dying.

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