Skip to main content

Matt Birk, the running mate and lieutenant governor candidate for Republican governor hopeful Scott Jensen, is under the spotlight for a series of remarks he made about abortion, rape, and the role of women on the day that the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

Video shared by liberal media outlet the Heartland Signal on social media shows Birk speaking to the National Right to Life Council in Georgia on June 24, with his comments drawing major rebuke this week from Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov Peggy Flanagan, Jensen's and Birk's Democratic opponents this November.

Among the comments made by Birk was one in which he links abortions to a "culture" in which women – among other things – pursue careers.

"Our culture loudly but also stealthily promotes abortion. They’re telling women they should look a certain way. They should have careers, all these things," he said.

As well as comparing the effort to ban abortions to the movement to overturn slavery, he goes on to discuss abortions resulting from rape, accusing Democrats of "playing the rape card" when discussing abortion care, and confirms he doesn't believe there should be an exception in abortion bans for rape.

"Rape is obviously a horrible thing. But an abortion is not going to heal the wounds of that. Two wrongs, it’s not going to make it right ... One of the arguments that I saw probably 20 times online today was about rape. And you know, obviously, they always want to go to the rape card," he said.

These comments were made before instances seen in the wake of Roe vs. Wade being overturned of people – including in one notable case a 10-year-old child – struggling to access abortion care in their states following rape.

Jensen has confirmed during his campaign that he would back the overturning of Minnesota's abortion protections should he beat Walz in November, with Republicans also likely to seek banning or restricting abortion should they win control of Minnesota's Legislature.

Jensen has previously stated that he would not approve an exception for rape or incest in any abortion ban, unless the life of the pregnant party was at risk. He has since tried to backtrack on this, suggesting that mental health impact on the individual could also be considered as putting their life at risk.

On Tuesday, Walz and Flanagan held a press conference along with a number of sexual assault survivors, during which Flanagan said she is likely to be "a broken record on this for the next several months."

"But it is what is required of me as a mother and as someone who is responsible for protecting the health and safety of Minnesotans,” she added.

"These disturbing remarks are disrespectful toward survivors and the policy is even worse. The Jensen-Birk abortion ban would force survivors to live the lives their rapists chose for them rather than ones they wanted for themselves,” she added.

In response, the Jensen and Birk campaign accused Walz and Flanagan of being a "single-issue campaign" while ignoring other major issues facing Minnesotans.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 6.09.38 PM

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to headline Duluth rally

The rally will take place at Leif Erikson Park on Oct. 1.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 6.09.43 AM

Stella's Fish Cafe closes temporarily to investigate viral rodent video

The Uptown restaurant said it was closing temporarily so it could investigate the claims.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.


2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.


1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.


Screen Shot 2022-09-03 at 10.43.09 PM

Scott Jensen, Matt Birk say they won't release tax returns before election

Jensen's opponent, Gov. Tim Walz, released his tax returns in April and called on other candidates to do the same.

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Walz, Jensen clash over 'extreme' abortion views

The two clashed over the topic on Tuesday, following the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

matt birk and scott jensen

Jensen names former Viking Matt Birk his running mate for governor

Birk has been criticized for his conservative views.

Walz and Birk

Walz campaign refutes Matt Birk claim that he owns property in SD

The Twitter claim spread further after being promoted by Matt Birk.

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 10.40.05 AM

What's inside Scott Jensen's education plan?

Scott Jensen unveiled his 10-point education plan Tuesday.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.

Screen Shot 2022-07-28 at 11.58.36 AM

MN anti-abortion legislator says 'no exceptions' for child rape victims

Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) is facing backlash after stating children who've become pregnant by rape should be denied an abortion.