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During last year's contentious gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Tim Walz seemingly talked about abortion more than anything else. The governor railed daily on his opponent as "extreme" while claiming his voice to be the moderate one of the two on this difficult issue. He vehemently denied Republican assertions that he supported abortion up until birth and professed to back "maintaining the timelines outlined by current law," which allowed for elective abortion up until fetal viability.

Polls show the governor's position was popular. We also know now it was completely dishonest.

Abandoning his campaign pledge with astonishing ease, on Tuesday Walz (with enthusiasm) signed the radical PRO Act ("Abortion rights now guaranteed in state law," front page, Feb. 1). The ghastly legislation green-lights the termination of pregnancies right up until the moment of parturition — for absolutely any reason whatsoever. It is a huge win for the murky abortion industry and a devastating loss for the innocent unborn.

His DFL allies in the state Legislature, without a peep of protest from the governor, knocked down sensible GOP amendments to the bill that would have, for example, prohibited abortions based on race or sex and banned the procedure after the eighth month of pregnancy unless the life or health of the mother was at risk. They even vetoed parental notification requirements when kids are in question.

Who is the real radical, governor?

Our state is now home to some of the most extreme anti-life laws in the world. I don't think Minnesotans voted for this nor like being lied to. We should change course from this dark direction in which the DFL has us headed in the next election.

Andy Brehm, St. Paul


I applaud Gov. Walz and the Minnesota Legislature for giving women the statutory right to do what every man has a right to do: make their own health care decisions. Predictably, the Republican opponents of the PRO Act are playing a deceptive public relations game to justify their opposition to a women's right to make her own decisions by calling the act extreme when, in fact, they would not have supported a law protecting such a right in any form whatsoever. One needs to only look at Justice Samuel Alito quoting a 17th-century misogynist in overturning Roe, former Vice President Mike Pence championing a national abortion ban, nationwide efforts to criminalize the use of birth control, pre-election Minnesota GOP talking points that no statute was necessary because of existing case law, and the campaign run by Scott Jensen in which he made his opposition to abortion clear, to understand the true nature of their feigned outrage.

If Republicans really wanted to make legislation better, they would engage their colleagues in the process, knowing that they will not get everything they want, and they would be legislators as opposed to obstructive extremists who only understand the word "no." If they don't want to do so, then do us all a favor; at least be honest and say out loud what you so clearly believe: Women are second-class citizens who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions.

Kelly Dahl, Linden Grove Township, Minn.


The attempt by Gov. Walz to bring Minnesota together as one is not working. With the recent abortion bill, he had an opportunity to codify abortion with safe and reasonable guardrails. Bipartisan polls have shown that 81% of people in this country do not support abortion with no limits. Most people in this state have a moral compass and do not agree with late-term abortion (and leaving babies to die after failed attempts). This bill also allows children to be sterilized without parental notification or consent. Gov. Walz, in the future, please do not use the phrase "One Minnesota." It is hypocritical, disingenuous and an outright lie.

Tamara Rath, Eden Prairie


Thank you, Minnesota legislators, for passing the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act this past week. As a medical student and future health care provider, I value living in a state where legislators trust health care providers to practice medicine that is in the best interest of their patients, without government interference.

As medical students, though we endure long hours and years of training, we are also often reminded that our patients ultimately know themselves better than anyone, regardless of training or knowledge. We are taught to draw on our expertise to guide our patients, so that our patients can ultimately be the ones to make informed decisions about their health and futures. Decisions about any health care, including reproductive health care, should be left where medical decisionmaking belongs: between providers and their patients. This week, Minnesota made that a reality.

With Minnesota now being one of the few states in the Midwest with the ability to provide comprehensive reproductive health care services that include abortion, patients from neighboring states are relying on us to receive care that they can no longer receive in their home states. It was time for Minnesota to set the precedent for the Midwest. With the passing of the PRO Act, we're allowing current and future physicians to practice the medicine that they trained long hours to be able to do. Most of all, we're allowing each and every Minnesotan to decide for themselves what they do with their body.

Brianna Wenande, Minneapolis


Great sadness struck me in seeing Wednesday morning's headline regarding the abortion law. There were many smiling faces, yet no tears for the mental, physical and spiritual sufferings that will accompany so many females who follow through with their abortion.

Why is nothing ever said about the males, boys and men, whose sperm impregnated these girls and women? Why are they never called to task for their part in procreation?

Things have to change. We can't continue to kill fetuses and do nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

Kay Breen, Brainerd, Minn.


A mother accused of shooting her 6-year-old son to death does not want to view the remains ("Accused asks not to view evidence," Feb. 1).

Could a good defense lawyer exonerate her? After all, six years earlier she could have had it done privately in a way that would have never required her to examine the results. She would even have been applauded for exercising a fundamental right.

She is just guilty of bad timing.

Ross S. Olson, Richfield


His approach will be missed

Many years ago, on a flight home from Washington, D.C., Sen. Dave Durenberger was just a few rows ahead ("GOP senator stressed 'shared value of civic engagement,'" Feb. 1). I didn't want to bother him because he was engrossed in paperwork, so I handed him a note inviting him to a small neighborhood Memorial Day flag-raising ceremony my father-in-law, Bob White, a World War II veteran, hosted for many years.

A few days later, the senator's staff was very kind to respond and said the senator appreciated the invitation but was already committed to attending the large Memorial Day service at Fort Snelling. They said he would try to make it to the flag-raising, but it would be a challenge.

I appreciated the follow-up and assumed his presence was a long shot.

On Memorial Day morning, just as Bob began to welcome neighbors, Sen. Durenberger and his staff arrived. He had spent most of the morning at Fort Snelling but still took the time to participate in our much smaller but very meaningful gathering.

In the wrong hands, politics can be a cynical business. But for Sen. Durenberger, it was a vocation to be honored, which he did so graciously that Memorial Day morning. We need more Dave Durenbergers.

Jim Triggs, Edina