The first is a ban on telemed abortions, also known as “webcam” abortions. Neighboring state Wisconsin has taken up a similar measure. These bans seek to prevent doctors from assisting women in using RU 486 after consultation via webcam. It’s a practice that has been medically proven safe and that has increased access to reproductive health care for women in rural areas where clinics may be inaccessible or non-existent.
The second bill working its way through the legislature is a TRAP law–a targeted regulation for clinics that perform abortions designed to essentially “zone” them out of existence. This version would force any facility that performs 10 or more abortions each month be licensed with the Department of Health and be subject to surprise inspections.
Anti-choice Republicans control both the House and the Senate in Minnesota, so both bills are expected to pass. Gov. Mark Dayton (D), however, is a supporter of reproductive choice and has vetoed anti-choice legislation in the past, though he has not yet said whether he will veto these particular bills.
Photo from mrbill via flickr