Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mark Dayton's record on protecting human life: Veto, veto, veto (etc.)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is up for re-election this year. What's his record since taking office in 2011? Where does he stand on right-to-life issues? And what are the stakes on Nov. 4?

Dayton's record as governor

Dayton addressed activists at "Pro-Choice Lobby Day" shortly after becoming governor. He pledged to prevent any pro-life bills from becoming law. "It will not happen here in Minnesota," he told them.

Dayton kept his promise:
  • The Legislature passed a bill to stop the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. Dayton vetoed the bill.

    Taxpayers will pay about $3.5 million for 14,000 abortions during Dayton's four years as governor. If a 2009 estimate from the Guttmacher Institute (a staunch advocate of unlimited abortion) is applied to the public funding numbers in Minnesota, about 3,500 fewer Minnesota women would have had abortions over Dayton's tenure if the state did not pay for abortions.
  • The Legislature passed bans on human cloning and the taxpayer funding of human cloning, but Dayton vetoed both.
  • The Legislature passed a bill to license abortion facilities (applying to them the same safety standards as other outpatient surgical facilities) and allow for inspections. Dayton vetoed the bill—even though poor health conditions and dangerous practices have been uncovered in abortion centers in numerous other states.
  • The Legislature passed a bill to require that a doctor be physically present when administering chemical abortions. This would have stopped the "webcam abortions" Planned Parenthood is now remotely conducting in Rochester. Dayton vetoed the bill.
Planned Parenthood, the state's leading performer and promoter of abortion, responded to these actions by presenting Dayton with its Courage Award at a 2012 gala.

Dayton's other positions

Dayton strongly opposes Minnesota's existing Woman's Right to Know law—which requires that basic information regarding risks and alternatives be offered to women considering abortion—and Minnesota's law requiring parental notification before a minor girl has an abortion. He has harshly criticized the work of pregnancy care centers that help pregnant women in need, claiming in a 2010 questionnaire that they "scare [women] into not having abortions."

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Dayton voted in favor of abortions in military facilities, endorsing Roe v. Wade, keeping partial-birth abortion legal, funding abortion-promoting organizations overseas, and funding embryo-destructive research. He also voted against parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor from another state. And he cosponsored the radical Freedom of Choice Act, which would have eliminated virtually every limitation on abortion, no matter how modest.

As Dayton explained in a 2010 letter:
I strongly support a woman's right to choice, and I have a 35-year record in strong support of that right. As a U.S. Senator, I voted consistently for pro-choice measures. I voted against the so-called "partial-birth abortion" ban. And I voted against Senate confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alioto [sic], in significant part because of their anticipated anti-choice positions.

My positions earned me very high ratings and frequent commendations from NARAL, including "Hero of the Month."
Dayton's running mate is Tina Smith. She is a former executive at Planned Parenthood, the state's biggest abortion business and a fierce opponent of pro-life laws like Woman's Right to Know and Positive Alternatives.

The stakes

Mark Dayton, who was described by the Star Tribune as "an ardent advocate of abortion rights," is an abortion absolutist. Late-term abortion? Yes. Partial-birth abortion? Yes. Taxpayer funding of elective abortions? Yes. Informed consent for women before undergoing abortion? No. Basic health standards in abortion facilities? Nope. Parental notification before minor abortions? Certainly not.

Since becoming governor, Dayton has single-handedly (literally) prevented seven different pro-life measures from becoming law. Lives that could have been saved weren't—simply because voters had not elected a pro-life governor. No laws to protect the unborn and their mothers can be enacted as long as Dayton remains in office.

That's the kind of difference a governor can make.