The following news release was issued today, May 25.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's pro-life majority today is lamenting Gov. Mark Dayton's vetoes of legislation that would have protected pain-capable unborn children and ended taxpayer funded abortions. Both bills are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization.
"We are very disappointed that Gov. Dayton prevented these mainstream measures from becoming law in our state," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "These are reasonable provisions, not extreme, and have overwhelming support from Minnesotans and legislators."
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would have prohibited abortions after the point in pregnancy at which an unborn child can feel pain, which medical evidence demonstrates is (conservatively) 20 weeks from conception. This legislation is based on the landmark Nebraska law that passed in 2010. H.F. 936 was authored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville.
The ban on taxpayer funding of abortion, H.F. 201, was authored by Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, and Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover. The legislation would have prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion. The Legislature passed such a ban in 1978, but it was overturned by Doe v. Gomez, a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in which the Court established an absolute "right" to abortion in the state Constitution and required taxpayers to fund elective abortions for women on public assistance. Since the Doe v. Gomez decision, taxpayers have paid more than $17 million to abort 54,802 unborn babies, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The future of these pro-life provisions is uncertain. MCCL is hopeful that one or both will be part of any special session agreement reached between the Legislature and the governor.
"We want to see Gov. Dayton work together with all Minnesotans, including the large majority who are pro-life and expect to see these protective measures become law," Fischbach added.