On April 27, the governors of Minnesota and Washington signed bills into law that legally shield any healthcare provider who illegally performs abortions or gender-affirming treatments on minors in violation of other state laws.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, signed HF 366, which prohibits licensing boards from taking into consideration a healthcare provider’s violation of abortion laws in other states. It also prohibits a licensing board from refusing to grant a license or pursuing disciplinary action against a physician or nurse for performing an abortion that resulted in disciplinary action or conviction of a felony in another jurisdiction.
The law also bars the enforcement of a civil judgment due to involvement in an abortion. Also outlawed is cooperation with a subpoena for violating another state’s abortion laws.
Regarding extradition, the new law states,
“Nothing in this section shall limit any person’s right to move freely between states or to enjoy the privileges and immunities of this state, and no person shall be arrested or delivered up to the executive authority of any other state of the United States for acts committed in this state or services received in this state involving any medical, surgical, counseling, or referral services relating to the human reproductive system, including but not limited to services related to pregnancy, contraception, or the termination of a pregnancy.”
The law also contains a section that allows a person convicted of violating another state’s laws to bring a civil suit against the person who filed charges for damages.
In addition to the protections for abortionists, Walz signed laws banning so-called conversion therapy and prohibiting the enforcement of other states’ laws on gender-affirming care.
The laws were signed after North Dakota, which borders Minnesota, enacted a ban on abortion after six weeks’ gestation and passed a law prohibiting gender transition treatments and surgeries for minors.
“That march of bigotry and hate stops at Minnesota’s borders. Freedom is on the march in Minnesota, decency is on the march in Minnesota, compassion is on the march in Minnesota,” Walz said last week.
To the west, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, D, also signed four bills promoting and protecting abortion. One of those new laws authorizes the Department of Corrections to distribute a “three-year supply” of chemical abortion drugs that the state obtained in case the drug was banned.
The legislation was proposed and passed even as courts are in the process of deciding whether or not the Food and Drug administration illegally approved those two abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, without proper review due to political motivations.
Inslee also signed a law that requires insurance companies to fully pay for abortions, banning any cost sharing.
Similar to Minnesota, Washington has also enacted two laws that protect abortionists and other healthcare providers by eliminating consequences for those who violate other states’ laws.
HB 1469 “prohibits compliance with out-of-state subpoenas related to abortion and gender affirming care services; prevents cooperation with out-of-state investigations; bans extraditions related to abortion and gender affirming care services that occur legally in Washington; and protects providers from harassment for providing these services,” according to the governor’s office.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Drew Hansen, D, stated, “We are committed to using every tool we have available to protect people in Washington from the reach of anti-abortion laws in Texas and elsewhere.”
HB 1340, meanwhile, prohibits medical licensing boards from imposing any disciplinary action on healthcare providers who violate other state laws on abortion or gender-affirming care. Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D, said, “When our health care providers are following the law and protecting their patients, they should be protected too. I’m proud the House voted to put the patients of Washington state first by protecting the doctors, nurses, and staff who provide essential care. This will help ensure Washington remains a place where access to essential health care is vigorously protected.”
By contrast, Rep. Jim Walsh, R, warned that the new laws could lead to lawlessness and other potential fallout, stating. “If we don’t honor the actions of courts, of law enforcement agencies from other states, we run the risk of other states not honoring ours.”
Isaiah 5:20 says,
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Walz and other Washington State lawmakers seem more obsessed with what’s happening in other states than in governing their own. The governor himself spent much of his State of the State Address chastising leaders of conservative states, saying,
“I’ve seen some of my fellow governors on TV — they find a lot of time to be on TV — and I hear them talking about ‘freedom.’ But it turns out what they really mean is that government should be free to invade your bedroom, your children’s locker room, and your doctor’s office. It’s not up to me how folks in those places, folks like Florida go about their business. But I got to tell you, I’m pretty glad we do it our way here and not that way.”
While he and others on the left attack states like North Dakota, Florida, and Texas, they push forward policies that kill children before they’re born, advance the mutilation of those children who aren’t aborted, and sideline parents.
In his speech, Walz insisted that he is focused on keeping children “safe.” His strategy for doing this is through abortion, gender-mutilating treatments, policing the speech of therapists, taking away the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families, and destroying families.
Conservatives are also focused on keeping children safe, but we see the danger and the solution very differently. We need to keep them safe from “compassionate” politicians, big pharmaceutical companies, and the LGBT lobby that try to tell children they are in the wrong body and the only way they can live another day is to put themselves through grotesque and harmful procedures that will destroy their healthy bodies. We need to keep them safe from being in a situation in which they would be pregnant before they are adults. We need to keep women safe from making a choice to kill their child, a choice that will have harms to both their body and to their mind. We need to keep babies safe from those who believe that a baby is nothing but an inconvenience and who profit off of their murder.
After Walz’s state of the state address, House Speaker Melissa Hortman also complained about red states, specifically their take on abortion, transgender laws, and culture wars. “All you have to do is read in the newspaper what’s happening in some of these other states. It’s horrifying and it’s frightening. It’s frightening and there is definitely a very big difference between red states and blue states right now,” she stated.
She’s right. There is a difference between red states and blue states. But the difference isn’t because of two political parties. It’s not Republican versus Democrat. It’s life versus death. It’s a difference in moral worldviews, whereby one believes that the death and destruction of a child’s body is “life-promoting” while the other believes that every child is made in the image of God and is beautifully and wonderfully made.
Yes, there is a real difference in what is happening in conservative states and in leftist states, and there is no question: It’s horrifying and it’s frightening.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.