Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MN House votes to ban sex-selection abortion funding

The following MCCL news release was issued today, May 5.

ST. PAUL—A large majority of the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to ban taxpayer funding for sex-selection abortions yesterday. Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, offered the amendment during a lengthy floor session on the House Health and Human Services omnibus bill. The 79-54 vote was one of a series taken on amendments to protect unborn children and their mothers.

"Tuesday's vote to ban public funding for bizarre sex-selection abortions was both an admission that these abortions are being performed in Minnesota, and strong agreement that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for them," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). "We already know that thousands of abortions are performed in our state every year as a backup method of birth control. Aborting an unborn child because of its sex is shockingly contemptuous of the unborn child's humanity."

House members also passed a cap on taxpayer funded reimbursements for abortions. Minnesotans have been forced to fund thousands of elective abortions every year since the Minnesota Supreme Court created a right to taxpayer funded abortion in its 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision. The funding cap, authored by Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph, reduces payments to abortionists by three percent.

Several other efforts by state representatives to protect unborn babies and their mothers failed. Rep. Patti Fritz, DFL-Faribault, offered an amendment to ban taxpayer funding of cruel saline abortions, in which the unborn child is burned and poisoned to death in the womb. The pro-life effort failed on a 66-66 tie vote. An amendment to reauthorize the Minnesota Department of Health to license and regulate abortion centers failed on a 64-68 vote. There are no current regulations of abortion centers. The measure was authored by Rep. Laura Brod, R-New Prague.

Two amendments addressed the new federal health care overhaul. Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, proposed that citizens be allowed to opt out of abortion coverage in their health insurance policies, lowering premiums. Rep. Gottwalt offered language to prohibit insurance policies available under the new exchange from offering abortion coverage. Both efforts failed on close votes.

Organizations that provide, promote or refer for abortions would be prohibited from receiving state family planning grants under an amendment offered by Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall; it failed, 62-72. Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, sought to require abortionists to keep medical records on abortion clients for 15 years. Her measure lost on a germaneness vote.

"MCCL continues to work diligently with state lawmakers to establish greater protections for innocent unborn children and their mothers," Fischbach added. "Abortion is the greatest injustice of our time, and the people of Minnesota are working to end this injustice through changing hearts, minds and the law."