DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced today he was vetoing two abortion-related bills. The first bill, HF 201, would limit the use of of state funding in state-sponsored health programs for abortions. The second bill, HF936 would prohibit abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases where it could pose a serious threat to the mother's health.
In his veto letter, Dayton said the funding restriction bill "would interfere with critical and difficult medical decisions." He said the law already requires that state funding only be used for abortions "in cases of rape or incest, for health or therapeutic reasons, and when a woman's life is in danger."
He said the language did not define "state-sponsored health programs" making it possible the restrictions could apply to state employees who pay premiums to state healthcare plans and to private healthcare programs regulated by the state.
In his veto letter regarded the 20 week abortion restriction bill, Dayton wrote "Our place is not between a woman and her doctor. Imposing civil penalties and making it a felony to deliver care that is in the best interest of the patient is unconscionable."
Click here to Download Dayton's abortion veto letters
One area GOP lawmaker, Rep. Mike Benson of Rochester, co-authored the abortion funding restriction bill. Local co-sponsors of the 20 week abortion restriction bill included Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa; Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston; and Benson.