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Minnesota Legislature

Vetoed: Ban on state funding of abortions

Published (7/15/2011)
By Hank Long
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Supporters of proposed legislation to end state funding for abortion believe taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for an “abhorrent” act. Those who oppose it argue that it not only takes choice away from Minnesota’s poorest residents, but comes in conflict with the state constitution.

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the bill, saying it infringes upon a woman’s basic right to health and safety and that its language does not contain a clear definition of a “state-sponsored health program.”

Sponsored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) and Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville), the legislation would have prohibited the use of funding for state-sponsored health programs for abortions, except to the extent required for continued participation in a federal program.   

The bill contained a severability clause, stating that if any portion of the legislation were to be found unconstitutional, that portion would be declared to be severable and the balance of the legislation would remain effective notwithstanding such unconstitutionality.

“The legislature intends that it would have passed this section, and each provision, section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word irrespective of the fact that any one provision, section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word is declared unconstitutional,” the bill states.

HF201*/ SF103/CH56

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