Two anti-choice bills were passed last week at a committee hearing in the House of Representatives.
The bills, HF 606 and HF 787, create specific limitations for women to receive legal abortions.
HF 787 was introduced to the Health and Human Services Reform committee Wednesday to prohibit funding for state-sponsored health programs, a bill that would, if passed, eliminate any chance for low-income women to receive abortions.
“This bill would also create profound hardships for women and families across the state, particularly for those who already face significant barriers to receiving high-quality health care, such as low-income women, young women and women of color,” said Andrea Ledger, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
HF 606 was also introduced Wednesday to create requirements for licensure of “certain facilities” that perform 10 or more abortions a month.
This TRAP law, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, will close the Women’s Health Center in Duluth, MN, because providers will not be able to afford the necessary renovations the bill requires, according to Laurie Casey, Executive Director of the greater Minnesota clinic.
“We estimate that it will cost in excess of $800,000 to renovate our existing building and clinical space…these unwarranted regulations have nothing to do with the safe delivery of medical services for women,” said Casey.
The Minnesota Medical Association denounced HF 606 on the basis that there is “no evidence” that clinics cannot safely perform abortions or that doctors are inadequately licensed, according to a letter from the organization Wednesday.
“The MMA is not convinced that patient safety is advanced in any meaningful way as a result of the licensing requirements established in this legislation,” said the letter.
Pro-Choice Resources Director Karen Law argued that HF 787 interferes with women’s personal choice especially on women who are clearly eligible for Medicaid calling it “unfair, unjust and discriminatory.”
“These bills are thinly veiled pieces of legislation designed to create additional barriers to punish and hurt women,” Law said.
Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill similar to HF 787 on May 25, 2011 and a bill similar to HF 606 on April 26, 2012.
The bills moved on to different committees within the House pending further discussion.
Written by Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth “Lizzy” Anderson is a Minneapolis native attending the University of Minnesota. She studies journalism, social justice and is a service-learner at NARAL in Minneapolis, MN. You can often see Lizzy jamming out to funky electrobeats or doing yoga in the courtyard on a sunny day. Lizzy has been inspired by the people at NARAL to pursue her passion into health education, specifically on HIV/AIDS. She hopes she will be lucky enough to educate others on public health in the Peace Corps. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning”- Albert Einstein