House includes pro-life bills in HHS omnibus legislation

Editor’s note. The following news release was issued by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

Minnesota State Rep. Debra Kiel

Minnesota State Rep. Debra Kiel

ST. PAUL — Legislation to license abortion facilities and end taxpayer funded abortion has been added to the Minnesota House of Representatives Health and Human Services omnibus bill. Both measures were approved Thursday on votes of 76-57 and are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).

Authored by Rep. Debra Kiel, R-Crookston, the amendment to safeguard the health of women entering abortion centers (originally H.F. 606) would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed by the state commissioner of health. It would also authorize inspections of abortion facilities (up to two inspections per year), with no prior notice required.

Abortion centers in Minnesota currently are neither licensed nor inspected by any state agency—even though dangerous conditions and unscrupulous abortionists have been discovered in numerous other states.

“Abortion centers perform invasive, outpatient surgery,” said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. “Why are they excluded from the health and safety standards that apply to other outpatient surgical centers? This bill is necessary for us to ensure that the very unsafe conditions uncovered in other states never happen in Minnesota.”

The House also passed an amendment to ban taxpayer funded abortion (originally H.F. 607), authored by Rep. Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud. The state has paid for elective abortions performed on low-income women since the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision.

“While the vast majority of state money is arguably used to build a better life for Minnesotans, some tax dollars help to end the lives of Minnesotans,” noted Rau. “Unless we wish to force citizens to fund an act which they do not support and which doesn’t further the public good—and do it at a rate of roughly 10 times every day, weekends included—we should all be supporting this common-sense legislation.”

Abortions funded by taxpayers have increased to 34.2 percent of all abortions performed in the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2013, taxpayers were billed more than $800,000 by the abortion industry for nearly 3,400 abortions. Since the Doe v. Gomez decision, the state has paid $21.5 million to the abortion industry for almost 70,000 abortions.

Both pro-life bills had already passed through several House committees.

The House HHS omnibus bill also includes $350,000 to raise awareness of the state’s Safe Place for Newborns program, which allows mothers at risk of harming their newborn babies to relinquish their child to a hospital, urgent care facility or by calling 911. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, strengthening the state law protecting infants born alive as the result of an abortion, was also added to the omnibus bill.