The following news release was issued today, Feb. 25, 2013.
ST. PAUL — Safety and justice are the focus of two measures introduced today at the State Capitol. A bill to license abortion facilities and another to ban taxpayer funded abortions have the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization.
S.F. 752 (H.F. number released later today), authored by Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, and Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed. The legislation would apply existing licensing requirements for outpatient surgical centers to abortion facilities. The bill also authorizes the state commissioner of health to perform inspections of abortion facilities, with no prior notice required.
"This common-sense legislation is important for the safety of women," said MCCL Legislative Associate Andrea Rau. "There is no reason for abortion facilities to be given special exemption from licensing that governs other outpatient surgical centers in the state."
The requirement would apply to the state’s five abortion facilities, which together perform the vast majority of all abortions in Minnesota. In 2011, a total of 11,071 abortions were performed in the state.
S.F. 753 (H.F. number released later today), authored by Rep. Patti Fritz, DFL-Faribault, and Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, would ban taxpayer funded abortions in the state. Because of the Minnesota Supreme Court's 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision, taxpayers are forced to fund elective abortions performed on low-income women. Most Minnesotans are opposed to taxpayer funded abortions, including many who support legal abortion.
"Killing unborn babies and requiring Minnesota citizens to pay for it are both great injustices that must be corrected," Rau said.
Taxpayer funded abortions have swelled to 34 percent of all abortions performed in the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2010 (most recent figures), taxpayers paid more than $1.4 million for 3,757 abortions. Since the Doe v. Gomez decision, the state has paid $18 million to the abortion industry for more than 58,000 abortions.
"Taxpayer funded abortions have become highly lucrative for abortionists, who market 'free abortions' to vulnerable women," Rau added. "This bill would end this exploitation of women."