Let the abortion debate begin.
Republican leaders of the Minnesota Senate introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit state funding of abortions. The state has funded abortions for poor women since 1995, when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled it was obligated to do so.
The bill was introduced a day before an annual anti-abortion march at the Capitol commemorating the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortions.
While the bill could pass through the Legislature, it faces a likely veto from Gov. Mark Dayton, who was unanimously endorsed by abortion rights groups during the campaign. Lawmakers could then opt to bypass Dayton with a Constitutional amendment, which would put the issue on the ballot.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, one of the bill's sponsors, said in an interview last month that the fixing the state's budget problems would supercede all other issues.
“I think there’s a lot of important issues," she said when asked about same-sex marriage. "But when we ran, we heard over and over, 'Deal with the budget. Do what you can to help the economy and reform government.' And so [those are] going to be our priorities going forward. Those are going to be the things you see out of the gate.”
“We’ll deal with a lot of things after the budget situation," she added, "but that’s going to be our laser focus.”