The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis this week urged Catholics to join a rally to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that they say “fails to protect Minnesotans from discrimination based on religion, could constitutionally mandate legal abortion up to the moment of birth, and promotes harmful gender ideology.”

The proposed amendment, sponsored by St. Paul Rep. Kaohly Her of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), adds several protected categories to the state’s constitution, in part saying the state cannot discriminate against a person on the basis of sex.

Within the category of sex, the proposal includes “making and effectuating decisions about all matters relating to one’s own pregnancy​ or decision whether to become or remain pregnant,” as well as “gender identity or gender expression” and “sexual orientation.”

Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, speaking in a May 6 video message on behalf of the state’s bishops, warned that the proposal constitutes “an imposition of the sexual revolution on the people of our state.”

The so-called right to abortion, which the Church has always opposed, would become in Minnesota law “so fundamental that we can’t even legislate against it,” Barron said. In addition, he noted that the proposal lacks the possibility of conscientious objection, meaning churches, schools, and health care institutions guided by faith could be mandated to endorse practices or speech that violate their beliefs. 

“All are welcome” to attend a rally in the Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on Wednesday, May 8, at 3 p.m. The rally will “feature inspiring speakers who will exhort those assembled to prayer and action, and offer prayers for unity, understanding, and religious freedom.” The St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese asked those wanting to participate in the rally to register online.

“In a state where diversity is celebrated, we must stand united in safeguarding the rights of individuals to practice their beliefs freely and without fear,” the archdiocese said in an announcement. 

“Specifically, we will be coming together to pray for and urge legislators to oppose the so-called ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ that fails to protect Minnesotans from discrimination based on religion, could constitutionally mandate legal abortion up to the moment of birth, and promotes harmful gender ideology.”

The proposed language was passed by Minnesota’s House Rules and Legislative Administration committee on May 6, MPR News reported. The proposal heads next to a vote of the full House and, if approved, would need to be reconciled with a companion Senate bill, which does not include the language related to pregnancy.

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The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2026 general election, and if ratified by a simple majority, the amendment will be effective Jan. 1, 2027. 

Abortion is already legal up to birth in Minnesota following the 2023 passage of the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, which enshrined a constitutional right to “reproductive freedom,” ensuring the right to abortion in Minnesota up to birth for any reason, as well as the right to contraception and sterilization.