Pro-life groups strongly criticize Governor Mark Dayton’s choice of Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to replace Senator Al Franken, while pro-choice groups applaud it. Sarah Stoesz with Planned Parenthood says, “Tina is a strong advocate for women generally, period: women’s health, women’s access to education, women’s equal pay.” But Bill Poehler with Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life says Smith is “entrenched in the abortion industry” from her time as a vice president at Planned Parenthood. “They were able to increase their abortions by 22 percent while she was there. They actually doubled the number of taxpayer-funded abortions they perform,” he says.
About Republican state Senator Michelle Fischbach likely becoming lieutenant governor, Poehler says it’s “probably doubtful” she could influence Governor Mark Dayton’s policies on abortion. Planned Parenthood’s Stoesz calls Fischbach “no supporter of women’s health.”