Recently, some groups have made false claims about pro-life lawmakers in Minnesota in order to try to defeat them in primary elections. They have claimed that these pro-life legislators have supported taxpayer funding of abortion by voting for omnibus spending bills. In reality, abortion funding was forced on us, the taxpayers, by a specific ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court (Doe v. Gomez). The Court ordered the Minnesota Department of Human Services to pay for elective abortions through the Medical Assistance program. That order requires the state to spend money on abortion. This funding is not the result of any vote by the Legislature.
Some claim that if legislators just vote against any state budget, there wouldn’t be any money to fund abortions. But that is false: Whether we like it or not, the courts have taken on the power to tell states and counties that they must fund certain functions the courts view as constitutional rights, even if the Legislature does not appropriate the money. Courts have issued orders to fund activities seen as constitutionally guaranteed rights (such as education and abortion) in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state, and elsewhere. In fact, not only would voting against state budgets do nothing to stop abortion funding—it could actually eliminate important pro-life funding, like the Positive Alternatives program that supports pregnant women with alternatives to abortion.
The truth is that pro-life legislators are fighting to end abortion funding. Legislators have twice passed bills that we hoped would overcome the Doe v. Gomez decision, only for former Gov. Dayton to veto them. MCCL will continue working with pro-life lawmakers on this issue—until the horrific Doe v. Gomez ruling is gone and taxpayers are no longer forced to pay for abortions. You can find the pro-life voting records of Minnesota lawmakers here. Learn more about taxpayer funding of abortion in Minnesota here.