The Minnesota Senate passed two abortion bills Thursday afternoon, both of which Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll veto if they reach his desk in any form. One bill would prohibit the state from paying for abortions on state-funded health programs, unless the federal government requires it. Shoreview Democrat Jason Isaacson called it hypocrisy that Republicans talk about respecting life on a bill that has no chance of becoming law, “but where you hold all the cards and can make all the difference in the world in the life of people with disabilities, in K-12 funding, you refuse to do so.” Milaca Republican Andrew Mathews responds he wants more reliance on communities rather than government. Mathews says, “I wish we were at a place where anyone could walk into any church in any city in this entire state in that kind of situation and find the help and the care that they need.”
The second bill the Republican-controlled state Senate passed Thursday would require licensing and inspection of facilities that perform ten or more abortions a month. Backers say it will help protect women’s health. Opponents respond the bill is designed to drive abortion clinics out of the market and restrict women’s access to the procedure.
Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll veto either measure if they’re in any bill. Dayton says he has no problem if lawmakers send him stand-alone bills, but warns “to tie it into the budget matters and try to jam it through that way then becomes another matter.”
Excerpt from bill sponsor, Big Lake Senator Mary Kiffmeyer’s comments during floor debate:
Excerpt from bill opponent, St. Paul Senator Sandy Pappas’ comments during floor debate: