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Minnesota lawmaker calls upholding of Texas abortion law 'great news for America'

Rep. Tim Miller also outlined a new abortion-related bill he plans to introduce.

A state representative from southwestern Minnesota recently praised the near-complete ban on abortions in Texas, calling its implementation "great news for America."

Rep. Tim Miller, a Republican from Prinsburg, wrote about the Texas abortion law in his Sept. 3 legislative update. 

That law bans any abortion after six weeks, before many women even realize they are pregnant.

Law enforcement agencies do not enforce the measure. Instead, private citizens are empowered to sue anyone who helps someone get an abortion, with the potential reward of $10,000.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to not block the law from going into effect. The federal government has filed a lawsuit, arguing the ban is "in open defiance of the Constitution."

Miller described Texas' law as "one of the boldest pro-life efforts in the nation," adding he is "greatly encouraged to see major steps taken in the fight to save unborn lives."

The four-term state rep also touted his own anti-abortion measures, highlighting a bill he wrote during the 2021 legislative session that prohibited abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. (It was referred to the Health Finance and Policy Committee and no further action was taken on it.)

Live Science says a fetal heartbeat isn't really a "beat" at six weeks. They compared it to a "flutter," one that can't actually be heard, but that more modern ultrasound machines can detect. The heart generally continues developing for another four to six weeks following this initial "flutter."

Miller also announced plans to introduce a new abortion-related bill in an upcoming special session, if one is called by the governor, or during the next legislative session. This bill, Miller wrote, would mandate that health care providers tell patients if aborted fetal tissue was used to develop or produce vaccines, treatments or medical therapies. Patients would be able to file a civil lawsuit against providers that didn't divulge this information.

"If we are to defeat the greatest sin of our age," Miller wrote, "then we must stand together with unwavering resolve."

The Minnesota DFL highlighted Miller's post in a recent news release, with the party's communications director, Brian Evans, calling the GOP representative's bill "draconian."

"This latest Republican effort to ban abortion poses a serious threat to the health and reproductive freedom of Minnesotans across our state," the news release says.

Gov. Tim Walz meanwhile tweeted on Wednesday: "Under my watch, this will never happen in Minnesota."

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In most cases, here in Minnesota a patient has to undergo state-directed counseling, then wait 24 hours, before an abortion is done, according to the Guttmacher Institute. But after "viability" — when the fetus could survive outside the womb, without artificial support —  an abortion can only be done if the mother's life is endangered, Robbinsdale Women's Center says. That's at about 23 weeks.

According to the Star Tribune, a state supreme court case from 1995 determined people in Minnesota have a constitutional right to abortion.

Support for an outright ban on abortion is low, with U.S. polling indicating about one in five people believe it should be illegal in all cases, according to ongoing Gallup polling. About 40% believe it should be legal under any circumstance, while about half of Americans think abortion should be legal in some situations.

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