Jan. 27: Senate Floor Session, Committee Summary
On Jan. 27 the Minnesota Senate met to discuss the PRO Act or HF/SF1 (SF 1 Status in the Senate for the 93rd Legislature (2023 – 2024) (mn.gov). The intent of the bill is the establishment of the fundamental right to reproductive health. The Senate convened at 10:30 am to begin what became a 16-hour discussion and debate regarding whether or not the PRO Act should be passed before being sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
There were 56 Amendments introduced to the bill- some regarding sterilization of minors, some regarding banning late-term abortions, and some regarding parental notification in the instance of a minor receiving care. No amendment prevailed.
Early in the session most questions were posed to the author of the bill, Senator Jennifer McEwen (DFL – District 8) who typically responded with “The PRO Act does not change existing law but simply codifies said law.” As the night wore on and as the questions posed would have garnered the same answer, Sen. McEwen would no longer yield for questions.
Multiple Senators on both sides of the aisle shared deeply personal stories to help their fellow Senators and the public understand why they were going to cast their vote either for or against this bill.
At 3:00 am on Jan. 28, the PRO Act was called for a vote and with 34 Yeas and 33 Nays it was passed.