by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2006
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty opposes abortion, but he has indicated he doesn’t plan to press state lawmakers for a ban on abortion similar to the one the governor of South Dakota recently signed.
The South Dakota abortion ban prohibits virtually all abortions, except those rare instances where it may be necessary to save the life of the mother. Pawlenty supports exceptions for rape and incest as well, but he says he won’t press for an abortion ban with those exceptions either.
He told the Associated Press he wants to wait and see what happens with the South Dakota abortion ban before moving ahead with an attempt to ban abortions in Minnesota.
Some pro-life advocates are concerned the South Dakota measure will be overturned in courts and that the Supreme Court still has, at minimum, a 5-4 majority in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade.
Meanwhile, the state’s leading pro-life group is heading up a legislative effort against a key state Supreme Court decision forcing the state’s taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions for poor women.
The state Supreme Court, in a 1995 case called Doe v. Gomez, required the state’s health department to pay for abortions, despite lawmakers voting to prohibit that from occurring in virtually all situations.
Scott Fischbach, the director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, called the case his state’s Roe v. Wade and told the Associated Press that working to overturn the decision will be his group’s next main focus.
"What they did in Doe v. Gomez was found an absolute right to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution, and that needs to be addressed," he said.
The pro-life organization could propose a state constitutional amendment to put before the voters but Fischbach says it would require a very expensive public campaign to pass the initiative.
Instead the organization is seeking legislative alternatives to counteract the decision.
The measure will get its first hearing today and, if approved, it would go straight to the state Supreme Court if abortion advocates challenge it with a lawsuit.
Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – https://www.mccl.org