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Anti-abortion ad taking over Minnesota airwaves makes misleading claims

Fact-checking MCCL's anti-abortion ad
Fact-checking MCCL's anti-abortion ad 02:10

MINNEAPOLIS — You may have seen an anti-abortion ad that's taken over Minnesota airwaves recently.

The ad put out by Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life (MCCL) says that Minnesota has the "most extreme abortion law in the country." 

That claim is misleading. It is true that Minnesota has one of the most pro-abortion rights laws in the nation.

Abortion laws differ and can be interpreted differently.

The anti-abortion group, the Family Research Council, puts Minnesota in a group of more than 20 states that it says "do not protect unborn life." But the pro-abortion rights group, Center for Reproductive Freedom,  put Minnesota in the same category as ten other states permitting full access.

"No it's right here the legislature passed a law that allows an abortion up to birth," a woman says in the ad. 

This is true but needs some context.

WCCO reviewed 15 years of state data that found from 2008 to 2022, of the tens of thousands of abortions performed, only two were performed between 31 and 36 weeks and none were performed after 36 weeks.  

"Some legislators want to put abortion up to birth into our constitution permanently," the ad claims.

This is true. Some DFL leaders are pushing for a constitutional amendment to put the right to an abortion in the Minnesota constitution.

But the claim needs some context — a constitutional amendment needs to be approved by the legislature and a majority of voters. Most proposed amendments fail. 

Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, one of the powerful figures in the state government, says she wants the issue on the ballot in 2026 — not 2024. 

MCCL says it labeled Minnesota the most extreme state because of repeals to parts of the state's Born Alive Law. While it is true there were changes, the law is still on the books. That law says an infant born alive is recognized as a "human person."

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