CURRENT LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES
Each year at the state Capitol in St. Paul, MCCL lobbies elected officials to enact measures that will help protect innocent human life.
Here are the major efforts that MCCL is supporting during the 2021 legislative session.
BAN TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION
This legislation, H.F. 1099 / S.F. 1045, would ban taxpayer funding of abortion in Minnesota. It would challenge a 1995 state Supreme Court decision, Doe v. Gomez, that requires Medicaid funding of abortion for pregnant women who receive state assistance.
In 2018, the latest year for which data is available, taxpayers reimbursed abortion practitioners $1.03 million for a total of 4,256 abortions, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
It's long past time to finally end the taxpayer funding of abortion in our state. Abortion isn't a public good deserving of public funding. It's an injustice against both unborn children and their mothers. Taxpayers should not be forced to be part of this.
An MCCL-backed ban was also introduced last year and in some previous years; twice it was passed by the Legislature but vetoed by then-Gov. Mark Dayton.
PROTECT POSITIVE ALTERNATIVES
The MCCL-backed Positive Alternatives Act was enacted in 2005. It provides grants to life-affirming programs that offer help and positive alternatives to abortion for women and their families. Over the first three years of the current grant cycle (July 2016-June 2019), Positive Alternatives funded 259,167 different services for 22,321 clients. Since the program went into effect in 2006, it has helped 68,321 families, according to the Department of Health.
Yet two years ago, the governor and some in the Legislature sought to cut 25 percent of the funding for Positive Alternatives; fortunately, that funding was preserved. This year, as the Legislature and governor negotiate a state budget in the wake of COVID-19, Positive Alternatives funding could again be targeted.
Positive Alternatives has supported and empowered tens of thousands of women and saved unborn lives. Keeping the modest funding for this program is essential.
LICENSE ABORTION FACILITIES
Abortion centers in Minnesota, unlike other facilities that perform outpatient surgery, are not licensed or inspected by the state. MCCL supports legislation (S.F. 1636) to change that. It would require abortion facilities to be licensed by the state commissioner of health, and authorize the commissioner to perform inspections. Similar legislation has passed through the Legislature only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Mark Dayton.
To protect women, the abortion industry should be held the same health and safety standards as everyone else. We must guard against the dangerous, horrific circumstances that have occurred in some abortion facilities in other states.
You can help advance lifesaving bills by contacting your state representative and senator during the legislative session to urge them to support MCCL-backed pro-life measures.