DFL party reacts to GOP-authored heartbeat bill

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(ABC 6 News) – Members of the Minnesota DFL met Tuesday to speak out against the so-called anti-abortion "heartbeat bill" proposed by GOP officials in the Minnesota House and Senate.

DFL party leaders said that women’s reproductive rights are more at risk than they’ve been in recent years. Representative Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), one of the bill’s authors, said Minnesota needs this bill to save lives.

"We declare people dead when their heart stops and therefore we should declare them alive when their heart starts," Munson said.

Munson co-authored the heartbeat bill proposed in the House. There’s a companion bill also proposed in the Senate.

"Our companions in the Senate have a hearing on this bill and pass the bill in the Senate because it’s controlled by Republicans. But in the House we’ll continue to push for this legislation to be heard," he said.

Minnesota Republicans proposed these bills back at the beginning of the year but they’re under scrutiny now because Representative Tim Miller says he’ll propose a new bill in the next session That bill would ban abortion outright and mimic a highly controversial bill from Texas.

"I’d support that as well. This doesn’t penalize the mother, It penalizes the provider," Munson said.

Minnesota’s DFL party is speaking out against these bills.

"This bill would take advantage of the anti-choice, anti-Roe Supreme Court majority by banning abortion before many even know they are pregnant," Minnesota Senator Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL-Edina) said.

Democrats are worried that if they lose the House majority and governor’s seat, there will be nothing to stop these bills from being passed. They say it would be detrimental to women’s health and reproductive freedom.

"Minnesotans believe that each person should decide for themselves whether or when to become a parent. Now more than ever before we need elected leaders that will fight for the fundamental right of all Minnesotans to get the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare they need," said Tim Stanley, of Planned Parenthood Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota ACtion Fund.

Representative Munson says the heartbeat bill proposed in the last legislative session is ready to be debated again in the upcoming session as well. That happens early next year.