The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling invalidating Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortion is a "sad step backward" and will make it harder to enact such a ban in Minnesota, Rep. Steve Wenzel, DFL-Little Falls, said Wednesday.
"I am outraged by this decision and strongly disagree with the court's logic," Wenzel said. "We in Minnesota already face a Senate that is unfriendly to pro-life legislation. ... and a governor who made his position clear by vetoing the 'right to know' bill earlier this year. This tragic court decision will only make it more difficult to protect unborn human life in Minnesota."
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Nebraska's law was unconstitutional because it it could criminalize early-term abortions, as well as those performed in the later stages of pregnancy.
"I believe the justices drew a very fine distinction between two horrible procedures that are indistinguishable from each other in their barbarity," Wenzel said.
Wenzel also criticized the court's upholding of a 1993 Colorado "bubble" law that bars people from counseling, distributing leaflets or displaying signs within eight feet of others without their consent whenever they are within 100 feet of an abortion health clinic entrance.
"That law is a limit on freedom of speech," Wenzel said. "If people entering the clinic are not being physically obstructed or threatened, their right of access is not reduced by the presence of other people on the sidewalk."
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