November 30, 2012 — An antiabortion-rights group in Minnesota on Tuesday filed a lawsuit alleging that the state used public funds to pay for more than 37,000 abortions that did not qualify for coverage under state laws, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Alliance Defending Freedom said the state is only supposed to pay for abortions for low-income women if their life or health is in danger or in cases of rape or incest, in accordance with state laws and a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision. According to the group, state health department data show that 10,044 of the total 47,095 abortions paid for by the state from 1999 to 2011 met those requirements.
The lawsuit also states that 40% of publicly funded abortions in the state during that time were among black women, while about 5% of the state population is black. The filing claims that abortions "disproportionately inhibit the growth of the African American population" in Minnesota.
The lawsuit, which names state Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson as the defendant, calls for an injunction to stop all state-funded abortion coverage until the state proves that funds were not misused. It also asks the court to overturn an injunction enforcing the 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision, which held the state cannot deny abortion care to women receiving medical assistance "when the procedure is necessary for therapeutic reasons" (Karnowski, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/28).