Minnesota Senate Republicans approve unconstitutional and discriminatory women’s health bills
St. Paul, Minn. (May 4, 2017) — Minnesota Senate Republicans followed their House counterparts and voted to send unconstitutional and discriminatory women’s health bills to Gov. Mark Dayton, who has signaled his intention to veto them.
“These bills are discriminatory, unconstitutional attacks on women’s health. It’s just that simple,” said Andrea Ledger, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
SF702 discriminates against women based on the type of insurance they have by eliminating Medicaid coverage for abortion. Additionally, this bill is unconstitutional because the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Gomez that “the difficult decision to whether to obtain a therapeutic abortion will not be made by the government, but will be left to the woman and her doctor.”
“This bill will deny a woman her constitutional right to an abortion simply because she is poor. It’s textbook discrimination and it’s appalling,” said Ledger. “And, in spite of the fact that the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is a decision can only be made between a woman and her doctor, Minnesota Republican legislators continue to challenge established law that ensures women will have access to reproductive health care, regardless of their financial situation,” Ledger added.
SF704 discriminates against abortion clinics by singling them out and holding them to completely different standards than other health clinics. Additionally, this bill is in direct contradiction to the ruling by Supreme Court of the United States last summer that doing so is unconstitutional.
Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Women’s Health Twin Cities recently issued a statement regarding this bill. “For Minnesota’s anti-choice politicians to say that this legislation makes women safer is nonsense. Whole Woman’s Health started this fight in Texas and we ended with a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court last summer. The Court ruled that states cannot put undue burden on women seeking abortion care. The Whole Woman’s Health decision has been used in at least 10 states already, in addition to Texas, to fight back against laws just like this one and to bring needed relief to women. We will fight this in Minnesota and win, just like we did in Texas.”