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Minnesota legislature proposes the gag rule

by rachel_nygaard on April 19, 2011 · 9 comments

war on womenIn yet another effort to prevent women from accessing medical services, the Minnesota legislature moves to implement the gag rule (aka the Mexico City Policy). This would prevent any state funds from going to any organization that is associated with or may council about abortion services – hospitals and clinics included. The MN legislature wants the gag rule to ensure that woman can’t even be educated about their choices. Talking about abortion would be forbidden by the government. (How very 1984 of them)  

What the Minnesota legislature always seems to forget ignore is that abortions are medically necessary procedures. While this bill is certainly targeted to defund women’s clinics that provide medically accurate information about family planning, many hospitals also have programs to provide these services. Would a hospital run the risk of losing much needed funding when they perform an abortion to save the life of the mother? Would they lose funding when they council a rape victim about their options?

The continued short-sighted, ignorant and hateful war on women – especially poor women – has to come to an end. The middle class and poor in Minnesota should not bear the brunt of the budget cuts in order to fund stadiums and tax cuts for the rich. Eliminating funding for family planning programs and implementing the gag rule only propagates the cycle of poverty. Only education can end this cycle. Unfortunately the GOP’s biggest fear is an educated public and they will (apparently) stop at nothing to prevent this.  

AO April 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm

The pro-life movement won’t stop in their effort against abortion, but this bill won’t cut funding for hospitals who are forced to abort a baby to save the mother’s life.  This is obviously targeted at Planned Parenthood which provided 330,000 abortions last year.  Since money is fungible, Planned Parenthood has been able to subsidize its abortion services with the government money they receive from their other services.

Obviously the pro-life movement won’t stop before abortion is illegal, but removing taxpayer funding from planned parenthood seems like an attainable first step.

rachel_nygaard April 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

It may not block all funding but it can block the public health community grants that many rural hospitals and clinics use for outreach.  

Alec April 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

If money is fungible, than the Chamber of Commerce should be barred from political donations because they take foreign money. AO, if you really believe this “fungible” talking point, then you would be honestly outraged that foreign companies were buying our elections through the Chamber.  

rachel_nygaard April 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

get from the federal government.

AO April 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

No, I’m not outraged that the chamber of commerce accepts foreign donations, because I don’t have a problem with foreigners attempting to influence our elections.  Seeing as how Obama and McCain want to be world police, we probably should let the world at least have the freedom to speak.

And yes, I do have a problem with the government giving money to religious organizations.  I’m ok with someone giving money to a religious organization for their private school education and getting a tax credit in return, but I’d rather reduce taxes and eliminate public schools.

ericf April 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm

but they can’t fund or vote. I know of no government that tolerates foreign funding of political campaigns, and of course they shouldn’t.

You really don’t see a difference between the government funding religious organizations and giving a tax credit to individuals who do so? Other than a bit of directness, they’re the same thing, and you’re letting the government pick the winners among religions.

AO April 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

The ability to fund is the same as the ability to speak when we’re talking about television commercials.

On tax credits, I’m referring specifically to eliminating the double payment for families who choose private schools and yet still have to pay for the public schools.  I wouldn’t support tax credits for general donations to the church or even deductions for charitable giving.  I’d much rather have a more simplified tax system with lower rates.

ericf April 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

If you wanted to hire a private security company, should you get out of paying for police? If you wanted to hire a private company, would you expect to get out of paying for the fire department. Send your kids to a parochial school if you want, but you still have to pay for the public schools. You still benefit from living in society of educated people, and you need to pay your share.  

dthenurse April 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

The war on women is not going to stop in Minnesota. Unlike other states, Minnesota has divided government, and all of my hope for women retaining their rights, is invested in Governor Dayton’s veto pen.

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