Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill on Thursday that intended to put restrictive licensing requirements on abortion clinics. The bill would have required any clinic that performs at least ten abortions a month to pay for a license. The cost of the license would be $3,712 a year. Clinics would also be inspected semiannually by health inspectors.
Governor Dayton said the bill was unnecessarily restrictive because “there is no evidence of poor quality or unsafe procedures being performed in Minnesota clinics.” The governor also indicated that the bill unfairly targeted abortion clinics. Minnesota has 1,250 outpatient clinics, only six of which perform abortions. The other outpatient clinics also operate without licenses and all of the state’s clinics are staffed by licensed medical professionals. Governor Dayton said, “The legislation targets only facilities which provide abortions. If regulation of clinics were the concern, the bill should have required licensure of all clinics, not just a select few. If the Legislature wants to create a new regulatory scheme for health care clinics, then all clinics should be treated equally. No clinic or procedure should be the focus of special and unique regulatory requirements.”
The Republican-led legislature has vowed to try to overturn the veto. The Minnesota House also passed a bill this week, 76-47, that requires a doctor to be present during a medication abortion. Governor Dayton is expected to veto this bill as well.
Minnesota Public Radio 4/27/12; Minnesota Star Tribune 4/26/12; Twin-Cities Pioneer Press 4/26/12