The following news release was issued on April 8, 2014.
ST. PAUL — An effort to finally end taxpayer funded abortions in the state has been defeated in the Minnesota Senate today. The pro-life amendment is strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). The amendment was sought to a multimillion-dollar supplemental budget bill the Senate.
The proposal that no Minnesota tax dollars may be used to fund the destruction of human life by abortion was brought by Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point. First introduced by Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, as S.F. 753, the policy would end the injustice of forcing Minnesotans to pay for elective abortions. The provision would prohibit taxpayer funded abortions, except to the extent necessary for continued participation in a federal program. This policy would mirror that of the federal government, which currently prohibits funding for abortion except in cases of reported rape or incest or to save the mother's life.
The Minnesota Supreme Court's 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision forced taxpayers to fund elective abortions performed on low-income women. However, most Minnesotans are opposed to taxpayer funded abortions, including many who are not pro-life. A majority of senators upheld taxpayer funding of elective abortions by defeating the amendment on a vote of 31-35.
"It is a grave injustice to kill unborn babies and require Minnesota citizens to pay for it," said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau.
Taxpayer funded abortions have swelled to one-third of all abortions performed in the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2011, taxpayers paid more than $1.2 million for 3,693 abortions. Since the Doe v. Gomez decision, the state has paid $19.9 million to the abortion industry for more than 62,000 abortions.
"Taxpayer funded abortions have become highly lucrative for abortionists, who market 'free abortions' to vulnerable women," Rau added. "The amendment would end this exploitation of women."
The Minnesota House of Representatives approved the ban on taxpayer funded abortions in a floor vote on Apr. 3; the amendment passed on a bipartisan vote of 69-61. The Legislature approved a similar measure in 2011, which was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.