THE U.S. SUPREME COURT’S ROE V. WADE and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973 made abortion legal across the United States. But a court ruling here in Minnesota—24 years ago this month—went even further.
Lawsuit leads to abortion funding
It started in 1993. That’s when an abortion advocacy group filed a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. The lawsuit led to a 1994 decision by a Hennepin County District Court judge, who ruled that women have a “privacy right” to abortion under the Minnesota Constitution—and that the right to equal protection entails that the government, which pays for prenatal care for low-income women, must also pay for abortions for low-income women.
The Minnesota Supreme Court then upheld and broadened that ruling in its Doe v. Gomez decision on Dec. 15, 1995.
According to Doe v. Gomez, the Minnesota Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution according to Roe v. Wade, requires legalized abortion. But Doe also requires public funding of abortion for women receiving state assistance—something not required at the national level under Roe.
Doe, then, was a genuinely extreme decision. The results of that ruling have been horrific.
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In 2017, taxpayers bankrolled a record-high 4,356 abortions at a cost of $1.06 million, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
State-funded abortions have risen each of the last four years—a 28 percent jump since 2013. Taxpayer funding gives the abortion industry an easy revenue stream by allowing it to offer “free” abortions to economically vulnerable women. It keeps the number of abortions higher than it would otherwise be. Women, children, and taxpayers all pay a price.
In 2011 and 2017, MCCL helped pass legislation that would challenge Doe v. Gomez by prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, but both bills were vetoed by the governor. The Doe decision is currently the basis for a lawsuit aiming to strike down numerous pro-life laws in Minnesota.
LifeNews.com Note: Paul Stark is a member of the staff of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a statewide pro-life group.