NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Legislative Update

April 21, 2017

Discriminatory Bills Targeting Abortion Providers Headed to House Floor on Monday

Two anti-choice bills that are designed to limit access to abortion head to the house floor on Monday, April 24.  H.F. 809 denies abortion coverage to women who are covered under Minnesota’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program. H.F. 812 singles out abortion providers for burdensome licensure and inspection requirements.

Here’s the schedule of action for the floor session on Monday:

When What Where
2:00 pm Press conference with legislative allies Basement of Capitol,

Room B971

2:30 pm Rally Basement of Capitol, then moving up to second floor outside the House of Representatives chamber
3:30 Support pro-choice members as they walk to the House chamber Outside House chamber

Updates on Anti-Choice bills:

S.F. 704/H.F 809

TS.F. 702/H.F 809 which would prevent patients from using Medical Assistance for abortion services.   Its companion bill in the Senate, S.F. 702, has been placed on the general register and could head to the floor at any time.

Amendment offered to H.F. 812

This week in the Ways and Means committee, Rep. Deb Kiel (R, 01B), Chief Author of H.F. 812, offered a “delete all” amendment to her bill in response to criticism from NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and our allies.  The bill still imposes unnecessary and discriminatory licensure requirements on abortion clinics. Abortion is extremely safe and supporters of the bill have presented no evidence that additional regulation of clinics in Minnesota is necessary.  According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are 1,250 other similar clinics performing non-abortion services that would not face the same regulation.  These clinics perform procedures that have similar or higher complication rates than abortion, such as colonoscopies, knee arthroscopies, and liposuction.   Further, the bill could compromise the privacy of abortion providers and patients.  

The Senate companion of the clinic licensure bill (S.F. 704) still must be heard by the Senate Finance Committee before it goes to the floor for a vote.  

Health and Human Service Omnibus Bill in Conference Committee

After passing the House on April 3 and the Senate on April 7, the two versions of the HHS Omnibus bill are in conference committee.  

The House version of the omnibus bill includes a provision singles out abortion via telemedicine for additional reporting, a requirement that doesn’t exist for any other telemedicine procedure.

The Senate version includes a nearly 20% cut to the Family Planning Special Projects grant. This cut would curtail family planning clinics’ ability to provide services such as counseling, contraception access, and STI testing to low income patients.  

Thank You Governor Dayton

Governor Dayton has committed to veto anti-choice restrictions that reach his desk.

In his 2012 letter vetoing a similar bill to impose unnecessary licensure requirements only upon abortion clinics, Gov. Dayton reaffirmed the Minnesota Department of Health’s belief that there is no evidence of poor quality or unsafe procedures being performing in Minnesota clinics that would warrant extra oversight.

In his 2011 veto letter addressing a previous bill restricting Medicaid funding for abortion, Dayton stated that such an action “infringes upon a woman’s basic right to health and safety – a right every woman has, regardless of how she receives her health coverage”.

NARAL members are encouraged to reach out and thank Gov. Dayton for opposing anti-choice legislation using the contact information here.

Take Action!

Tell your legislators that you oppose anti-choice bills S.F 704/H.F. 812 S.F. and 702/H.F. 809 which threaten women’s right to health care! Find out who represents you here. Make sure to follow NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota on Facebook and Twitter to receive current updates about the status of legislation.