A bill to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion in Minnesota was introduced in the House and Senate today. The measure, which is strongly backed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), aims to stop the government bankrolling of thousands of abortions in the state every year.
“Abortion isn’t a public good deserving of public funding,” says MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “It’s an injustice against both unborn children and their mothers. Taxpayers should not be forced to be part of this.”
The legislation, H.F. 4404 / H.F. 4403 and S.F. 4271, is authored by Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake) and Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point). It would challenge a 1995 state Supreme Court decision, Doe v. Gomez, that requires Medicaid funding of abortion for pregnant women who receive state assistance.
In 2017, the latest year for which data is available, taxpayers reimbursed abortion practitioners $1.06 million for a record-high total of 4,356 abortions, 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. In 2018, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health, a record-high 44.5 percent of abortions occurring in Minnesota were publicly funded.
Minnesota law prohibited taxpayer funding of elective abortion prior to the Doe v. Gomez decision. Since then, taxpayer-funded abortions have increased most years as the abortion industry has pitched “free” abortions to economically vulnerable women. A large body of research, including a literature review by the Guttmacher Institute (which is aligned with the abortion industry), has shown that the availability of public funding leads to more overall abortions than otherwise would take place.
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MCCL and pro-life lawmakers have frequently sought to stop this unjust use of taxpayer dollars. In 2011 and 2017, a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion passed through the Legislature, but it was vetoed both times by then-Gov. Mark Dayton.
“It’s long past time to finally end the taxpayer funding of abortion in our state,” says Fischbach. “The Legislature should pass this legislation. The governor should sign it. And the Minnesota Supreme Court should uphold it—and reverse its erroneous 1995 decision. We will keep working until this happens.”