April 30, 2012 — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) on Thursday vetoed a bill (SF 1921) that would have mandated licensing of abortion clinics, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (Brooks, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/26).
The bill would have required clinics that perform at least 10 abortions monthly to pay an annual licensing fee of $3,712. The clinics also would be subject to random inspections by the state health commissioner up to two times per year (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/20).
In a statement, Dayton said the measure would have imposed "inappropriate and unworkable" requirements on the state's six abortion clinics. The bill stated that abortion clinics could be monitored for "conduct or practices detrimental to the welfare of the patient" -- language that Dayton said could apply to anything.
Dayton noted that the bill "targets only facilities which provide abortions" and not the state's 1,250 other outpatient clinics that operate without licenses. "If the Legislature wants to create a new regulatory scheme for health care clinics, then all clinics should be treated equally," Dayton said, adding, "No clinic or procedure should be the focus of special and unique regulatory requirements."
House Passes Medication Abortion Restrictions
Also on Thursday, the House voted 76-47 to approve a bill (SF 2128) that would require doctors to be physically present when prescribing medication abortion drugs, as well as when the woman takes the medication. The bill was amended to remove a provision that would have imposed criminal penalties on physicians who violated its requirements (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/26).