Lakeville’s Republican legislators are one step closer to imposing stricter laws on abortions performed in Minnesota.
Two House bills passed on Friday, one of which would make it illegal to have an abortion at or after 20 weeks of gestation. That bill passed 82-46 with the support of a handful of Democrats. The other bill (HF0201) would prohibit public funding for abortions. It passed 80-44.
The first bill, authored by State Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-District 36A) of Lakeville, is dubbed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and would bring felony charges against the person who gives or attempts the abortion, but no legal action would be taken against the patient. The patient or partner of the patient could then take civil action against the person who performed or attempted to perform the abortion, according to the language of the bill (HF0936).
Both bills are likely to be vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton, who has been a strong opponent of new abortion bills. Ninety votes are needed to override a governor veto.
Along with Holberg, State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-District 36A) of Farmington, also voted in favor of the bills.
Both bills have been sent to the Senate’s Rules and Administration Committee. The Senate also has a bill addressing abortion funding (SF0103).
Last week, State Sen. Dave Thompson (R-District 36) of Lakeville, said he is in support of the bills.
“It is my belief that while we all should have very broad rights with respect to our medical treatments, we don’t necessarily have the rights to have others pay for it,” he said in the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee last week.
State Sen. Mary Jo McGuire (D-Falcon Heights) disagreed.
“I’ve very nervous that policymakers are getting involved in these types of decisions on what we pay for and what we don’t pay for,” she replied.
More than 12,000 abortions were performed in Minnesota in 2009, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota is one of several states considering similar 20-week bans.