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Minnesota GOP files trio of bills to stop state funding of abortion

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/07/MahurinLaw_Thumb1.jpgTwo weeks ago, Republican leadership in the Minnesota Senate introduced a bill to ban state funding for abortion, and on Monday, two more bills with identical language were introduced in the Senate and another in the Minnesota House.

The text of all three bills reads, “Funding for state-sponsored health programs shall not be used for funding abortions, except to the extent necessary for continued participation in a federal program.”

The bill also includes language that anticipate a court challenge. A ban on state funding for abortion has already been ruled unconstitutional in Minnesota in the case of Doe v. Gomez in 1995.

When the issue originally came up in late-January, reproductive rights advocates said the bill was a distraction.

“Minnesotans know that we have different views on issues like abortion, and even though we may not agree on all points, our state Constitution has made sure all women have had the right to choose for more than 15 years,” said Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota. “The anti-choice lawmakers want to focus on this issue at the expense of our state’s other priorities. They are overstepping in trying to force an anti-choice agenda that weakens our state’s Constitution. The budget crisis is critical, which makes it even more unbelievable that some lawmakers are attacking choice.”

She added, “Making the option of abortion accessible to all women did not create a budget crisis. In fact, this is a distraction from the state’s priorities.”

The bills now have 41 sponsors — all Republicans — in the House and Senate combined.

SF 265 was introduced by Republican Sens. Al DeKruif of Madison Lake, Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, Sean Nienow of Cambridge, Benjamin Kruse of Brooklyn Park and Joe Gimse of Willmar.

SF264 was introduced by Republican Sens. Warren Limmer of Maple Grove, John Carlson of Bemidji, LeRoy Stumpf of Plummer, Julie Rosen of Fairmont, and Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd.

HF391 was introduced by Republican Reps. Peggy Scott of Andover, Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake, Bob Dettmer of Forest Lake, Greg Davids of Preston, Mike LeMieur of Little Falls, Roger Crawford of Mora, Kathy Lohmer of Lake Elmo, Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Mike Benson of Rochester, Bruce Anderson of Buffalo Township, Doug Wardlow of Eagan, King Banaian of St Cloud, Tony Cornish of Good Thunder, Joyce Peppin of Rogers, Mary Franson of Alexandria, Paul Anderson of Starbuck, Joe McDonald of Delano, David Hancock of Bemidji, Tim Sanders of Blaine, Kurt Daudt of Crown, Debra Kiel of Crookston, Rich Murray of Albert Lea, Paul Torkelson of Nelson Township, Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake, Gene Pelowski of Winona and Mary Liz Holberg of Lakeville.

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