State-sponsored health programs administered by the Department of Human Services would not be able to pay for abortions, except as needed to continue participation in a federal program.
Federal law known as the Hyde Amendment bans federal funds from paying for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or preserving the life of the mother. A 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision struck down a 1978 law similar to HF809 as unconstitutional.
Franson said her bill would apply the same restriction to the Medical Assistance program. “My constituents and I do not believe we should pay for elective abortion,” she said.
Rep. Abigail Whelan (R-Ramsey) said using taxpayer dollars for abortions “is a violation of the religious freedom of Minnesotans who are being forced to fund a practice that goes against their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) said the entire range of health care should be available to women in Minnesota regardless of whether they are wealthy or poor.
“We’re developing a habit of not listening to low-income women and not listening to women of color within the Legislature,” said Rep. Peggy Flanagan (DFL-St. Louis Park).
Franson said some organizations offer financial assistance to help women pay for abortions.
HF809 includes a severability clause, which would state the Legislature’s intent as being that if a court were to find part of the bill unconstitutional, the rest would remain in effect.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
The budget process explained — and why it matters
$45 billion plan is about a 10 percent increase over current biennium
Governor urges lawmakers to pass a big capital investment bill during budget-setting year; House Speaker has expressed doubt over bonding this session
It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017-18 biennial session Tuesday.