Taxpayer funded abortion ban, abortion facility licensing bills approved by House committee

MCCL-supported protective measures advance at Legislature

Minnesota State Rep. Tama Theis

Minnesota State Rep. Tama Theis

ST. PAUL — Abortion facilities would be licensed and taxpayer funding of abortion would be prohibited under two bills passed by a committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives on Wednesday. Both protective measures are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).

The Health and Human Services Finance committee voted 10-7 to approve H.F. 607, authored by Rep. Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud, which would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. The state has paid more than $20 million for elective abortions performed on low-income women since the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision required taxpayers to fund abortions.

“For decades, the federal government has forbidden most taxpayer funded abortions—just as we seek to do today,” said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. “This bill returns the issue of whether or not the taxpayers of this state should be forced to fund a practice which the majority opposes, to the policymakers of this state where the decision is rightly decided.”

Abortions funded by taxpayers have increased to 34.8 percent of all abortions performed in the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In 2012, taxpayers paid more than $822,000 for 3,571 abortions.

Minnesota State Rep. Rep. Debra Kiel

Minnesota State Rep. Rep. Debra Kiel

A second bill, H.F. 606, authored by Rep. Debra Kiel, R-Crookston, passed through the committee on a 9-7 vote. The legislation would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed by the Department of Health. The bill also authorizes up to two yearly inspections of abortion facilities at the department’s discretion.

“This legislation protects the women of the state of Minnesota from the dirty, illegal and unsafe abortion practices we have seen in other states,” Rau said. Currently, Minnesota’s abortion facilities are neither licensed nor inspected by any state agency—even though dangerous abortion center conditions have been discovered in numerous other states.

The licensing requirement would apply to the state’s five abortion facilities, which together perform 99 percent of all abortions in Minnesota. H.F. 606 was approved and sent to the Ways and Means committee.