MN Senate committee passes two anti-abortion bills

Categories: Health Care
Paul Gazelka.jpg
Despite little evidence that abortion-inducing drugs pose health risks, Sen. Gazelka wants to make accessing them more difficult.
Remember all the talk about the MNGOP staying focused on job creation? Well, instead of that, Republican lawmakers continue to devote their energies to making it more difficult for women to get abortions.

Yesterday, a divided Senate committee passed two anti-abortion measures -- one that would require the physical presence of a doctor when an abortion is performed, and another that would require licenses and random inspections for clinics that provide abortions.

With regard to the the physical presence measure, Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, said "I think it's too easy to give the permission without being there yourself to see what's been done, and what you're doing."

Opponents of the bill say the abortion-inducing drug, RU-486, is associated with fewer patient deaths than Tylenol or Viagra, nullifying any argument that the bill is about protecting women's health. According to the Pioneer Press, in 2010, drug-induced abortions accounted for 2,378 of the 11,550 abortions in the state.

Last year, Planned Parenthood introduced a program where doctors at its St. Paul clinic videoconference with counsel patients in Rochester about medication abortions. Abortion-inducing drugs  are dispensed to patients from a locked safe in the Rochester exam room that the physician opens remotely. The physical presence bill would outlaw this program.

Citing RU-486's relatively low risk, Sen. John Marty, D-Roseville, said "when someone comes in with a bill that says you've got to have a physician physically present for taking Viagra, then I'll take this bill seriously." The bill was introduced by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd.
Claire Robling.jpg
Sen. Robling's bill would charge abortion-providing clinics a fee for licensing and inspection.

The licensing and inspection bill, introduced by Sen. Clair Robling, R-Jordan, extends the same degree of oversight currently applied to businesses like game farms and nursing homes to abortion-providing clinics.

Robling said "there's licensing and inspections for numerous areas of operation that we have throughout the state, so when I become aware that this was not happening with these clinics, I thought it would be appropriate."

Proponents of Robling's bill say the criminal charges resulting from a Philadelphia clinic called a "house of horrors" by prosecutors demonstrates the need for more stringent oversight of abortion-providing clinics, but a spokesman from the Minnesota Department of Health expressed concern about the expense of designing rules and allotting staff for the licensing and inspection procedures. In a move Republicans presumably hope will reduce the number of Minnesota clinics offering abortions, the cost of licensing and inspection would be passed along to the clinics themselves.

The bills are now headed to the full Senate. Even if they pass the GOP-controlled Senate and House, the bills almost certainly face a veto from Gov. Dayton, who vetoed several abortion-restricting bills during last year's legislative session.

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14 comments
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Harrumph!
Harrumph!

These will never get past the governor. What a colossal waste of time and resources. 

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

The Democrats say:  NO, NO, NO!!!!We want flunkies and coat hangers for abortions!

What happened to the "concern for women's health"?

See people, the true mission of the eugenics crowd comes out.   (kill, kill, kill the poor minorities, anyway and by any means you can)

pizza
pizza

you make no sense.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"Anti-Abortion"?????

" one that would require the physical presence of a doctor when an abortion is performed, and another that would require licenses and random inspections for clinics that provide abortions."

How does that equate to "anti-abortion"?

Sounds like they are assuring the "safety" of the woman.

Or would you all prefer abortions be preformed in a back alley with a coat hanger?

pizza
pizza

again, you make no sense. put down the bottle.

SWGM
SWGM

Wow, good thing these bills were introduced so that everyone can waste time arguing and voting before the governor vetos both of them. What ever happened to Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? Sheesh!

Aaron
Aaron

So is the GOP going to go the constitutional amendment route with these as well when the governor vetoes them, assuming they even make it to his desk?

Kari Koehler
Kari Koehler

Dear GOP- Thank you for showing us that you can't keep a simple promise- focus on legislation that will help with job creation. Granted it would be a cold day in hell before I'd vote for any of you, but I think others are finally starting to see your true colors. Thanks for wasting time and money on an issue that isn't of our utmost concern right now. Hopefully come election time we can even the scoring card and get back to what is actually important- bipartisan legislation to help Minnesotans.

pizza
pizza

The "red experiment" was a colossal failure, and thankfully will be over in a few months!

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Do you all NEED to see the 2010 GOP Campaign flyers?There was a mass of issues they promised to pursue, not just "jobs"Apparently the brainwashing runs deep.

pizza
pizza

wow, deflect much? pretty standard response for a republican who can't win an argument.

Kenwith
Kenwith

I sent the following to both these legislators:

More regulations on an issue that has nothing to do with creating new jobs for anyone. You are not representing the wishes of the majority of your constituents. You have been added to the list of legislators that many of us will use our efforts to defeat at the next election. Goodbye! 

The response from Sen. Gazelka?  "OK."  

Game on!

HotLunch
HotLunch

Wedge issues! Politicians of both parties love them. Wake up, robots.

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