Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have required doctors to ask women seeking an abortion if they wanted to first view images from an ultrasound scan.

In a letter to legislative leaders, the DFL governor said he rejected the legislation because it "interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, legislating the private conversations that occur about a legal medical procedure." He added that health care providers "are already fulfilling their legal, ethical, and professional duties to fully inform their patients of the benefits, risks, and alternatives of any medical procedure."

The bill was approved by the state House last week, following an earlier vote in the Senate. Both votes were primarily split along party lines, with a few DFLers joining their Republican-majority colleagues in supporting the measure.

Supporters of the bill said requiring a conversation about an ultrasound would provide women with more information and could prompt some to continue with a pregnancy. Opponents said such a requirement was unnecessary because women already have the ability to view an ultrasound, and they said the bill amounted to overreach in what should be a private conversation.

The governor, who has previously rejected other attempts by the Legislature to regulate abortion, noted in his letter that the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were also opposed to the bill.