Robert Barron, the Bishop of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, spoke out against the state’s new abortion law last week following the law’s signature by Governor Tim Walz.
The new law, which has been dubbed the “most extreme” in the nation, enshrines the constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion up to birth. It offers no pro-life protections, and also removes parental notification requirements for minors, thereby allowing a child to get an abortion without limits, and without her parents’ consent.
In a February 1 video posted to social media, Bishop Barron called the law “morally outrageous.”
“I want to share with you my anger, my frustration over this terrible law that was just signed by the governor in Minnesota — the most really extreme abortion law that’s on the books in the wake of the Roe v. Wade reversal,” Barron said in the video, noting that a 12-year-old could now get an abortion without her parents’ knowledge.
“But the worst thing,” he added, “is it basically permits abortion all the way through pregnancy up to the very end. And indeed, indeed if a child somehow survives a botched abortion, the law now prohibits an attempt to save that child’s life. I don’t know why this is really debated anymore in our country, but this strikes me as just the worst kind of barbarism. And in the name of, I don’t know, subjectivity, and freedom, and choice and all this, we’re accepting this kind of brutality.”
Bishop Barron went on to describe the double standard established by the law.
“What strikes me is this: If a child is born and now a day old, or two days old and resting peacefully in his bassinet and someone broke into the house and with a knife killed the child and dismembered him, well, the whole country would rise up in righteous indignation,” he said.
“But yet, that same thing can happen with complete impunity as the child is in his mother’s womb about to be born. Again, I just think this is so beyond the pale and that we’ve so lost our way on this issue,” he added.
Minnesota’s other bishops also spoke out against the law prior to its passage. In a January 18 letter to legislators they said, “As inconvenient as it is for some, we cannot ignore the reality of the unborn child in the womb—a living human being who is owed the protection of the community. We cannot allow state-sanctioned violence against a whole class of human beings.”
Though Bishop Barron acknowledged that the law is now established, he encouraged the faithful not to give up the fight. “We can certainly keep raising our voices in protest,” he said. “We can keep praying for an end to this barbaric regime in our country.”