• MCCL

Doe v. Gomez: 23 years, $25 million, 82,000 abortions

ST. PAUL — Tomorrow is the 23rd anniversary of the Minnesota Supreme Court decision that required taxpayer funding of abortion. Since the Doe v. Gomez ruling, Minnesota taxpayers have reimbursed abortion practitioners close to $25 million for nearly 82,000 abortion procedure claims.

"Doe v. Gomez went further than Roe v. Wade did at the national level," says MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Doe said not only that abortion has to be legal for any reason, but also that, in many cases, Minnesotans have to foot the bill for other people's abortions."

Minnesota law prohibited public funding of elective abortions until a 1994 decision by a Hennepin County District Court judge, who ruled that women have a "privacy right" to abortion under the Minnesota Constitution—and that the right to equal protection entails that the government, which pays for prenatal care for low-income women, must also pay for abortions for low-income women.

The Minnesota Supreme Court then upheld and broadened that ruling in its Doe v. Gomez decision on Dec. 15, 1995. According to Doe, the Minnesota Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution according to Roe v. Wade, requires legalized abortion. But Doe also requires public funding of abortion for women receiving state assistance—something not required at the national level under Roe.

The abortion industry has taken full advantage of the Court's constitutionally groundless decision.

In 2016, taxpayers bankrolled a record-high 4,321 abortions at a cost of $1.056 million, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Taxpayers now fund a record-high 43.4 percent of all Minnesota abortions. Planned Parenthood, the state's leading practitioner of abortion, performed a record-high 2,322 tax-funded abortions in 2016—a 168 percent increase since 2011.

"Taxpayer funding gives the abortion industry an easy revenue stream by allowing it to offer ‘free’ abortions to economically vulnerable women," says Fischbach. "It keeps the number of abortions higher than it would otherwise be. Women, children, and taxpayers all pay a price."

In 2011 and 2017, MCCL helped pass legislation that would challenge the Doe decision by prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, but both bills were vetoed by the governor.

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