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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A Minnesota House Committee approved a bill Wednesday to require a state license for a medical facility, but only one type: Clinics that perform abortions.
The bill would require clinics that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed and regulated by Minnesota’s Department of Health. That’s essentially Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, but it also includes seven other facilities.
The bill was promoted by the state’s largest anti-abortion group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). They came after dangerous and unsanitary conditions were found at a Pennsylvania clinic.
“The conditions at the clinic in Pennsylvania went on for years,” said Andre Rau, a lobbyist for MCCL. “Before it became public and the clinic was shut down, two women lost their lives at the clinic, and that’s a terrible thing.”
The bill would also authorize the state commissioner of health to perform inspections of the facility as deemed necessary and without prior notice required.
Opponents, however, are clearly frustrated, calling it “another ‘hate Minnesota’ bill.”
“We just can’t do anything right here,” said Rep. Bev Scalze, (DFL-Little Canada), sarcastically. “We are just so bad and everything is so wrong here. Because somebody did something wrong in Pennsylvania, we are no good in Minnesota.”
The state does not regulate other medical clinics that perform outpatient procedures, like vasectomies or minor surgery. It does regulate medical providers however.
That’s partly why opponents say this is directed only at abortion and not any other procedures.
This bill is also moving forward in the Senate. It is considered the MCCL’s top legislative priority this year.