The Minnesota GOP is moving forward with its "jobs, jobs, jobs" agenda it promised the voters of Minnesota, today proposing to ban all state funds to any group that either provides abortions or might refer someone to a place that provides abortions.
Minnesota legislators introduced a bill on Monday that would ban state family planning money from going to any organization that offers abortion services, advocates for the right to choose an abortion, counsels pregnant women that abortion is an option or is affiliated with any organization that engages in those activities. In fact, under the bill, family planning dollars cannot be used to refer women to abortion services even if they are explicitly seeking those services. The bill introduced on Monday is the twelfth anti-abortion rights bill introduced so far this session.
The bill states that organizations that receive state family planning funding “may provide nondirective counseling relating to pregnancy but may not directly refer patients who seek abortion services to any organization that provides abortion services.”
Many organizations that receive such funding offer referrals for women who are seeking abortion services, but under the bill, those organizations would be banned from mentioning abortion.
The bill puts a large list of restrictions on family planning services. The funds cannot be used to subsidize abortion services or administration expenses indirect to abortion services. The funds cannot go to organizations that are affiliated with an organization that provides abortion services or has ever said that “abortion is considered part of a continuum of family planning services, reproductive health services, or both,” either in writing or by oral statement. Any organization receiving family planning funds would be barred from publicly advocating for the legality or accessibility of abortion.
The focus of the bill is to remove state funds from Planned Parenthood, but would essentially take it away from any other family planning clinic in the state that receives state funds, as well. Apparently we are supposed to ask crisis pregnancy centers for birth control pills and paps now, instead.
Indiana, too, is pushing a "defund Planned Parenthood" bill, although in their case they really are defunding the group in the state. A previous attempt at passing the bill stalled when Democrats had an unrelated walk-out at the capitol.
Once again, Republicans claim that there are lots of other places more than willing to provide reproductive health care for cheap that does not provide abortions, then refuses to name one. The Indy Star reports:
Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, the author of the amendment, said there are other health care providers that can offer women the services Planned Parenthood provides, including cancer screenings, pap smears, birth control and STD screenings.
“If (Planned Parenthood) wants to receive taxpayer money,” he said, “They can simply stop practicing abortion.”