A group of DFL legislators, joined by the president of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate, on Tuesday denounced House legislation that would restrict state funding for family-planning services.
Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, called legislation by some House Republicans, and one DFLer, "one of the most aggressive attacks in recent memory."
The bill would change how the state distributes family-planning grants, and it would restrict that funding from going to an entity that "provides abortion services or has an affiliate that provides abortion services." There are exceptions if an abortion is performed as a medical emergency "to save the life of the woman," according to the bill text.
Stoesz said the legislation would limit access to 45,000 who receive their healthcare at 15 of 18 Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota.
Bill sponsor Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Stillwater, said in a statement that her legislation would not limit access, saying there are dozens of clinics statewide that offer family-planning services and would still be eligible for state funding.
"There are many mothers out there who are truly in need, and my legislation seeks to help more of them by funding the organizations that are committed to the health and future well-being of these women and their children," Lohmer said in a statement.
The House legislation has no companion in the Senate, and Gov. Mark Dayton said late last month in a letter to Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt of Crown that he would veto the legislation.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said Republicans should focus on other matters, such as transportation and education funding.