The Minnesota legislature is continuing its efforts to defund reproductive health services for poor women. First trying to deny state-funded abortion coverage by pulling funds from Planned Parenthood, and now introducing a gag rule that would not only remove state funds from any abortion provider, even if the funds were not used for abortion, but would deny funds to any group that so much as gives a referral for or even mentions the word abortion.
Sarah Stoesz, of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota issued a strong statement condemning the legislature’s ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach to women’s health.
“This ideologically driven move puts politicians in charge of women’s health care and violates medical ethics by attempting to control physicians’ speech,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Under the gag rule, health care providers will be forbidden to discuss abortion with their patients, preventing them from fulfilling their responsibility to provide complete information.
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“For 40 years, those who oppose the full range of options for women have attempted to gag physicians’ speech, and for 40 years, common sense has prevailed,” said Stoesz. “This amendment not only intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship, it also betrays the wishes of Minnesotans, the majority of whom support such options. Minnesotans wanted solutions to the state’s budget and unemployment crises, not vendettas against women and families.”
This bill will become yet another in the long line of abortion restrictions being passed by the Republican majority in the House and Senate, that they are well aware will never be enacted due to the governor’s veto.