Jan. 31, 2023—Winona-Rochester, Minnesota’s Bishop Robert Barron wastes no time condemning Minnesota’s newly passed abortion law as “the worst kind of barbarism.”
“Basically, it eliminates any kind of parental notifications,” Bishop Barron continues, “so a 12-year-old child can get an abortion without even telling her parents about it!”
Immediately following Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) signing of the bill, Bishop Barron began his a social media video “I want to share with you my anger, my frustration over this terrible law that was just signed by the governor in Minnesota — the most really extreme abortion law that’s on the books in the wake of the Roe v. Wade reversal.”
What is Minnesota’s new abortion law?
Titled the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, the bill—now passed—enshrines a constitutional right to “reproductive freedom,” ensuring the right to abortion in Minnesota up to birth for any reason, as well as the right to contraception and sterilization.
Not only did it eliminate any parental notification, so that a girl in sixth grade can now obtain an abortion without her parents knowing. Also, consider the abuse that certainly must be involved for a young girl to find herself pregnant in the first place; abuse which would likely go unreported.
“But the worst thing,” Bishop Barron added, “is it basically permits abortion all the way through pregnancy up to the very end. And indeed, indeed if a child somehow survives a botched abortion, the law now prohibits an attempt to save that child’s life.”
This law goes further than previous laws in the state
Protection for abortion in the state had preexisted the new law because the state’s Supreme Court ruled in the 1995 decision Doe v. Gomez that a woman had a constitutional right to abortion. Associate Press reports that several restrictions to abortion in the state have also been ruled unconstitutional in the courts in prior years and that sponsors of the bill supported it because they wanted abortion protections in law, despite the political leaning of future appointed justices.
Pro-life advocates fiercely opposed the bill, as it gained national attention and underwent several hours of debate in the state Senate. The pro-life advocacy organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America called the legislation “the most extreme bill in the country.”
The result is brutality, not freedom
Barron said that “I don’t know why this is really debated anymore in our country, but this strikes me as just the worst kind of barbarism. And in the name of, I don’t know, subjectivity, and freedom, and choice and all this, we’re accepting this kind of brutality.”
Barron’s condemnation of the law echoes that of the Minnesota bishops who raised their voices against it before its passage.
Minnesota’s bishops wrote in a Jan. 26 statement: “To assert such unlimited autonomy is to usurp a prerogative that belongs to God alone. Authorizing a general license to make and take life at our whim will unleash a host of social and spiritual consequences with which we as a community will have to reckon.”
In his video, Barron added: “What strikes me is this: If a child is born and now a day old, or two days old and resting peacefully in his bassinet and someone broke into the house and with a knife killed the child and dismembered him, well, the whole country would rise up in righteous indignation.”
Friends, there is a morally outrageous bill that has now been signed into law by @GovTimWalz. This bill is the most radical abortion law in the country. We must continue to stand against this barbarism. Pray for the conversion of hearts and minds. pic.twitter.com/9A2CI3Xq5w
— Bishop Robert Barron (@BishopBarron) February 1, 2023
“But yet, that same thing can happen with complete impunity as the child is in his mother’s womb about to be born. Again, I just think this is so beyond the pale and that we’ve so lost our way on this issue,” he said.
He acknowledged that there was no possibility of blocking the now-enacted legislation, but said that “we can certainly keep raising our voices in protest.”
“We can keep praying for an end to this barbaric regime in our country,” he said.