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Bills to license facilities and ban public funding of abortion reflect state’s values

Scott Fischbach

In their recent Community Voices commentary (“Five anti-choice bills would especially burden low-income women,” April 1), Karen Law and Andrea Ledger write that legislative proposals to license abortion facilities and prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion would “undermine” the “core values” of our state. I disagree. These are common-sense bills that would benefit women, taxpayers and unborn children.

The licensure issue

Consider, first, SF 616/HF 606. This measure would require that facilities performing 10 or more abortions per month be licensed by the Department of Health. It would also authorize inspections (no more than two per year).

Why is it necessary? Because abortion centers in Minnesota are neither licensed nor inspected by any state agency. This makes little sense. Unsafe abortion centers and unscrupulous providers have been discovered in many other states; some women have died. But our state lacks the ability to even determine if these dangerous conditions are present in Minnesota — or to prevent them from happening in the future.

Minnesota currently licenses “outpatient surgical centers,” but abortion centers also perform invasive, outpatient surgery. Why are they not held to the same standards of patient care? The proposed legislation would simply apply the existing licensure requirements for outpatient surgical centers to abortion facilities. It would help ensure minimum health standards and a degree of basic safety for women.

Public funding should end

The other proposal targeted by Law and Ledger is SF 683/HF 607, which would end the use of public funds for abortion. New numbers from the Minnesota Department of Human Services show that the state paid $809,915 in 2013 for 3,391 abortions. Since the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision, taxpayers have reimbursed the abortion industry $21.6 million for more than 69,000 abortion procedure claims. Abortions funded by taxpayers now comprise 34.2 percent of all abortions in Minnesota — an all-time high.

Law and Ledger believe low-income women should have access to the health care they need, and we strongly concur. But elective abortion is not health care — it attacks the health and ends the life of a developing human being. Abortion is not a public good that calls for government support.

And most people agree. A Marist poll [PDF] this year found that 68 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 69 percent of women and 49 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.” This is not about whether the law should protect the lives of unborn children. It is about whether Minnesota taxpayers should be made complicit in their destruction.

These women deserve better

Law and Ledger tout the values of justice and compassion. But public funding of abortion —which increases the incidence of abortion relative to what it would otherwise be — is no justice for the human beings who are killed in utero as a result. Nor does it offer true compassion to pregnant women facing difficult circumstances. The problems these women confront are not solved by “free” abortions courtesy of the government. They deserve better, and we owe them more.

The bills to license abortion facilities and ban taxpayer funding of abortion are currently making their way through the Minnesota House of Representatives. They are reasonable, modest and bipartisan, reflecting our state’s values of health and life, justice and compassion. They should receive the support of all Minnesotans.

Scott Fischbach is the executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.


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Comments (95)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/10/2015 - 06:24 am.


    Always struck me as odd that anti abortion forces want to license abortion facilities. It seems to me, a basic contradiction.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/10/2015 - 10:52 am.

      There’s the catch

      They don’t. It’s a cover for wanting to close them down. Make impossible and overly expensive hurdles and then say “see? We saved all those poor incompetent women who didn’t really want control over their own reproductive lives from those unsafe conditions.”

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 04/10/2015 - 11:18 am.

      Regulate and then eliminate – that is the strategy

      It’s a strategic move to shut clinics down.

      First you legally mandate inspections. With this tool in hand you then start imposing rules and regulations that are financially or otherwise extremely burdensome or impossible to meet, and which don’t necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with ensuring reasonable standards of professionalism or public health. Then, when the clinic can’t meet the new requirements, you shut them down. It’s an underhanded and dishonest way by anti-abortionists to effectively eliminate abortion without changing the law on abortion.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/10/2015 - 06:56 am.

    Anecdotal is not good enough

    The author wrote “Unsafe abortion centers and unscrupulous providers have been discovered in many other states; some women have died.”

    To be taken seriously as anything more than sensationalistic hype, this claim requires specific examples with supporting citations.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/10/2015 - 10:49 am.


      I have read in the news about these places…in other states. So, where is the evidence that we need to further regulate abortion centers HERE?

      Also, the false BS about how removing public funding is a measure to provide better for women. That is wholly incorrect and disgustingly patronizing. Taking away choice because women “deserve better” is an argument that suggests that women are incapable of caring for themselves. I’ll kindly ask you to not consider me in your paternalistic “charitable” musing, Mr. Fischbach. In return, I won’t think about how your reproductive organs should be regulated for your “own good,” as well.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/10/2015 - 11:16 am.

      Not sure how you managed to avoid hearing the absolutely horrific story of Kermit Gosnell’s abattoir. That one incidence is more than enough justification.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/10/2015 - 01:02 pm.

        We didn’t

        We heard it. It was atrocious. It was an uncommon example of what happens when horrible people do horrible things to other people. Did you hear about how Darren Sharper admitted to raping several women? We should regulate and/or ban football.

        Now, let’s pretend that we’re talking about abortion access in Minnesota. How unsafe is it? If you can answer me that one with facts, I might start listening about how we need to clean things up.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/10/2015 - 04:36 pm.

          Can’t give you the facts; I don’t have them…nobody does, because, wait for it…no one has done any inspections!

          I think a look under the hood at abortion offices are long overdue.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/10/2015 - 04:56 pm.

            It’s an outpatient procedure. If you want to regulate it like an inpatient procedure, you have to regulate ALL outpatient procedures the same way. Unless you think a procedure that only affects women should be treated differently. There is that pesky thing called “the law.”

            Regardless, an estimated one of every three American women will have an abortion by age 45. Most who have an abortion already have children.

            See my other statement about men with no understanding of anatomy or medical science telling women what’s what.

            • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/11/2015 - 07:58 am.

              Medical science? See my statement about Kermit Gosnell.

              Tattoo shops are licensed and inspected, but you don’t think women deserve that kind of attention, lest some nasty bit of business be discovered. Sheesh

              • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/14/2015 - 06:36 pm.

                So worried about folks?

                How about a little “lead poisoning control” ?

              • Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 04/15/2015 - 06:00 pm.

                Kermit Gosnell

                Yes, we’ve all heard of Kermit Gosnell. We’ve also all heard of Ed Gein. I wouldn’t say that either one is representative of his community or his profession. But, if that’s all you’ve got, by all means keep trotting it out as though it were an answer to anything.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/10/2015 - 01:16 pm.


        The author’s example was in the plural. And no – a single example is not sufficient to remove access to this healthcare from all women, no matter how horrible the single example is.

      • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/10/2015 - 03:41 pm.

        Kermit Gosnell is already in prison for his crimes. And it shouldn’t be forgotten that Kermit Gosnell served poor minority patients, and there is a direct correlation between poverty and abortion rates. There is also a direct link between abortion rates and safe access to family planning services and contraceptives. And, countries with more liberal abortion laws tend to actually have LOWER rates of abortions.

        I’d love to hear about how you support initiatives that are tested and proven to both lower the rates of unplanned pregnancies, and to lower the rates of abortions. I won’t, of course, because you oppose comprehensive sexual education, free access to birth-control, contraceptive coverage under the ACA, programs to help lift people out of poverty, etc etc.

        To Mr. Fischbach, I say that, yes, women DO deserve better. They deserve better than to have their rights over their own bodies stolen from them. They deserve better than to be tricked into visiting the wrong ‘clinic’ where they are lied to about the facts of abortions. They deserve better than to be shamed and assaulted as they walk into the clinic. They deserve better than to have a bunch of medically inept men make laws about female biology that they have no comprehension of. The deserve better than mandatory waiting periods and tales of ‘abortion reversals.’ They deserve so much better than what you are prepared to take from them.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/10/2015 - 08:35 am.


    “Unsafe abortion centers and unscrupulous providers have been discovered in many other states; some women have died.”

    Again, there is a basis for agreement. I, too, think abortion should be safe. Where is the pro life position?

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/10/2015 - 09:36 am.

    Because state mandated licenses are a feature of small gov

    Yeah, let’s abolish and obstruct regulations of EVERYTHING else but create a whole regulatory regime for health clinics… sounds like Obamacare to me.

    Dude, you not fooling anyone, and I hate to tell you this but Abortion is NOT a defining issue of our day. Keep punching that “hot” button though, I mean who needs to talk about REAL issues after all? Aren’t you guys supposed to be working on a budget?

  5. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 04/10/2015 - 01:04 pm.

    Real women

    This legislation harms real women. Good research (not the polling done by the Knights of Columbus as referenced by Mr Fishbach) tells us that women who are denied the opportunity to terminate unwanted pregnancies are more likely to stay with abusive partners and continue to be beaten.

    Until you have held the hands of desperate women whose healthcare does not pay for a full range of pregnancy options it is difficult to believe how challenging the situation is. Hypocrites like Mr Fishbach deny funding for good sex education and effective contraception yet blame these women who “fall pregnant” and want them to work as incubators for adoptive parents like me or to raise children in desperate situations.

    Mr Fishbach it is just fine with me if you never terminate a pregnancy , but do not remove that option from Minnesota women.

  6. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/10/2015 - 01:06 pm.

    I like how Mr. Fischbach claims to know what the “state’s” values are. If a state can have values, it most certainly must reflect his values, right? Never mind that lots of other people strongly disagree. I hate when people use the “every one but you” method of persuasion. Especially since it’s not likely that even a majority, let alone, “everyone but you” holds the opinion that Mr. Fischbach holds.

  7. Submitted by Nathaniel Finch on 04/10/2015 - 02:29 pm.

    It’s a business

    Then there’s the fact that Mr. Fischbach makes a very good living agitating about abortion. There are deep-pocketed donors (mostly associated with the Republican party) who are very happy to keep him in business doing just what he’s doing. He may not even care one whit about abortion one way or another. This is just an easier way to make a living than actually doing something that benefits humanity.

    • Submitted by Tam Helmin on 04/11/2015 - 01:18 pm.

      facts, please

      This I’d like to see proof of. Do you have any facts to support any of these claims?

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/11/2015 - 10:28 pm.

        Perhaps you could help with that . . . . . .

        considering the fact that you also work for MCCL:

        • Submitted by Tam Helmin on 04/13/2015 - 10:54 am.

          Facts, please

          Yes, I do work part-time for MCCL. That does not change the fact that Mr. Finch made several claims without any evidence. Does he have any facts to support any of his claims?

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/13/2015 - 02:41 pm.

            It’s considered common courtesy around here to inform the readers that you are employed by the group/person you are defending. In certain professions that is covered under disclosure laws.

            As to facts, and speaking of disclosure, we’d all like to know who the shadow donors who give you your money are. Sadly, the MCCL and the NRA have been fighting such disclosure laws for some time now.

            “Some small changes are likely to be adopted, but the biggest change — requiring nonprofits and other groups now outside disclosure laws to report spending and donors — has stalled in the House.

            Advocates cite opposition from two groups: Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s largest anti-abortion group, and the Minnesota chapter of the National Rifle Association (NRA).”


            Personally, I find it ironic that a “pro-life coalition” would have the NRA, an organization that exists to promote the use of deadly weapons, as it’s ally.

            • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/13/2015 - 04:40 pm.


              Both MCCL and the NRA are about saving lives.

              • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/14/2015 - 07:08 am.


                NRA is about selling guns.

              • Submitted by Jon Lord on 04/14/2015 - 09:10 am.

                About the NRA

                If it’s assumed that guns save lives why not arm everyone in the US with free weapons. Then everyone will be safe, correct? The MCCL isn’t concerned with saving everyone’s lives. Their concern ends once the birth is over.

              • Submitted by jason myron on 04/15/2015 - 06:46 am.

                Now THAT’S funny

                Yeah, Dennis…the NRA is all about saving lives. Where’s your next gig? I’d pay top dollar for more of that kind of wit.

  8. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/10/2015 - 02:44 pm.

    While I respect Mr. Fischbach’s opinions,

    I disagree with his conclusions.

    Let’s first be honest about his motives: the reduction and eventual elimination of a legal medical procedure. Other rationales ring hollow in this context.

    Bringing abortion providers within the scope of the outpatient surgical center statutes is indisputably intended to increase the burdens of operating such centers and reducing their number. Those interested in the requirements which apply to such centers can start here:

    As to state funding for abortion procedures, Mr. Fischbach contends abortions are not health care, despite the fact that some abortions are deemed medically necessary or advisable. Given his insistence that abortion centers be treated as outpatient surgical centers, I must assume he will not contend that abortions are not medical procedures.

    The question, then, is whether state funds should be made available to or denied to citizens on what are essentially metaphysical grounds, i.,e, the belief that human life (whatever that may mean) begins at conception. Mr. Fischbach and many others in Minnesota believe it does. Many others do not agree with that belief. I, for one, do not believe that state policy should be grounded in metaphysics, whatever they may be.

    Setting aside the metaphysical questions, paying for abortion services makes economic sense, as does paying for birth control methods with which I expect MCCL also disagrees. If, as he writes, one-third of Minnesota abortions are paid for using state funds, it is likely that state funds also would be used to pay for care involved in the birth and support of the resulting children, should a woman be unable to obtain an abortion for financial reasons or because a clinic was not reasonably available to her.

    It is worth noting, in passing, that MCCL also has sponsored legislation seeking funding for advertising the existence of Minnesota’s Baby Safe Haven program, through which it no doubt hopes the anticipated bumper crop of newborns will be anonymously abandoned and made available for adoption.
    Can we count on its support in efforts to fund the care and education of those born as a result of its proposed changes in the law?

  9. Submitted by Tam Helmin on 04/10/2015 - 06:00 pm.

    stop double standard

    Minnesota ought to ensure the safety of its citizens. That’s why the state regulates facilities ranging from hotels and nursing homes to cosmetology salons and tattoo parlors.
    Minnesota currently licenses outpatient surgical centers but not abortion centers—even though abortion facilities perform outpatient surgery. This exemption is unfair and dangerous. We should require minimum health standards and ensure a degree of basic safety for everyone.

  10. Submitted by Tam Helmin on 04/10/2015 - 06:03 pm.

    MN’s newest clinic has troubling past

    Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) is a Texas-based chain of abortion centers that now operates an abortion facility in Minneapolis. It has a consistent record of shoddy practice.
    In 2007, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) fined WWH of Beaumont $3,050 for five different violations. In 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality fined WWH of Austin and WWH of McAllen $40,410 for illegally disposing of the remains of aborted children. In 2012, the Texas Medical Board disciplined two WWH abortionists for violating standards of patient care.
    An Oct. 3, 2013, inspection of the Beaumont clinic noted that “the facility failed to provide safe and sanitary equipment in the patients’ procedure rooms.” Inspectors found “numerous rusty spots on the suction machines used on the patient” that had “the likelihood to cause infection,” according to the DSHS report.
    Whole Woman’s Health performed 3,039 abortions in Minnesota in 2013, making it the second largest abortion provider in our state.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/11/2015 - 08:10 am.

    Two things

    A) It’s more than a little disingenuous to claim that ALEC written legislation from Texas is about MINESOTA values.

    B) In terms of “regulation” the legislation was obviously unnecessary. Even if you accept Tam’s numbers regarding Texas fines against Whole Woman’s Health; note those fines pre-date the licensing requirements which weren’t introduced until 2013. In other words, clinic inspections are already a part of most states regulatory regime. The license requirement was specifically written to increase the costs for clinic performing abortions and do little if anything to increase safety.

    Well, there’s also a third thing. Comparing Texas with Minnesota on almost any health care metric is a fools errand. Texas compares poorly with Minnesota and has done so for decades.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/11/2015 - 04:44 pm.

      Did you read Tam’s comment before posting yours? Seems your Minnesota abortion industry is bringing Texas to your doorstep.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/14/2015 - 11:27 am.

        Did you read MY comment?

        Strange how these so-called and self described champions of individual liberty are so determined to obliterate the concept of privacy and turn any woman of child bearing age into a second class citizen.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/14/2015 - 11:33 am.

          I think it’s because they already regard women as second-class citizens.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/14/2015 - 11:59 am.

          I see. So on second inspection, Texas isn’t really that bad, after all.

          Imagine my surprise…never saw that one coming.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/15/2015 - 10:25 am.

            Another swing and a miss

            “Well, there’s also a third thing. Comparing Texas with Minnesota on almost any health care metric is a fools errand. Texas compares poorly with Minnesota and has done so for decades.”

            I don’t know why this is confusing for you Mr. Swift.

  12. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/12/2015 - 09:04 am.

    Here’s an idea:

    Work to increase the number of adoptive parents so somebody doesn’t have to die because of a mistake in judgement in your sexual behavior.

  13. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 04/12/2015 - 12:19 pm.

    Funding exemptions?

    So, now do we have a “moral right” to object to the things public money is funding? Great! I’d start off with objecting to the multibillion dollar subsidies to the richest entites on earth — the banking and oil industries. Then I’d cut off funding for all partisan congressional “investigations” that drag on for years without producing anything but occasional headlines about how they’re still looking but not finding anything. I object to paying the salaries of congresspersons who aren’t there, on the job, at least 95% of the days of a regularly scheduled congressional session. Oh, this is great, I could go on forever. And by the way, I don’t mind public funding for abortions. Nobody’s having abortions for fun, or just out of boredom.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/13/2015 - 06:59 am.

      On my list . . . .

      I have a moral objection to spending money funding wars and occupations on every corner of the glove. Now THERE is a cause that I would think “Citizens Concerned for Life” could get behind!

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/13/2015 - 10:21 am.

        And . . .

        Let’s not forget capital punishment. I understand that many who oppose abortion are members of a denomination that strongly opposes state-sponsored executions. It’s just a matter of time before the ecclesiastical authorities in Massachusetts announce that the US Attorney there will be denied communion if she seeks the death penalty for Dzhokhat Tsarnaev.

  14. Submitted by L Mo on 04/13/2015 - 01:24 pm.


    We all know these attacks on abortion rights are just that- they are not to protect women, but nice try. The misleading part is that every doctor and nurse in any clinic, abortion or not, is licensed by the state. Someone mentioned tattoo artists- yes, they are also licensed, but there are not requirements to expand the hallways and license every tattoo parlor in MN to “protect” the person being stuck with needles.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/13/2015 - 02:24 pm.

      Tattoo artists are required to follow protocols to maintain sterility, and disposal of blood contaminated items. The state doesn’t take their word for it; they inspect.

      But an abortion shop doesn’t need even the same minimum standards a tattoo shop does? It’s highly unlikely a tattoo client will need to be rushed out on a gurney, probably why they don’t need wide hallways.

      Practising abortionists may need a license, but is everyone in the building a licensed abortionist? Are unlicensed people actively participating in the act of abortion? How does anyone know?

      • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/13/2015 - 02:44 pm.

        “licensed abortionist?”

        Why don’t you call them and ask them. They have a phone number.

        These clinics have MDs on staff. That stands for ‘Medical Doctor.’

        Methinks you know not of what you speak… which would be par for the course for most men who oppose Roe V Wade.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/13/2015 - 04:22 pm.

          MDs who practice abortion are in short supply. Most abortion shops use traveling abortion practitioners for that reason.

          You can call someone who lives 500 miles away, and shows up 3 or 4 times a month “staff”, I guess. Others probably wouldn’t.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/13/2015 - 04:49 pm.

            Short supply

            That could be because the “pro-life” crowd has been known to resort to deadly violence against doctors, in order to show their support for the sanctity of life.

            • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/13/2015 - 07:04 pm.

              That could be it, RB. More likely it has to do with that “First, do no harm” thing. Most Doctors take that pretty seriously, I think.

              • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/14/2015 - 08:49 am.

                It could be. You have no proof. My experiences, working with doctors for 10 of the past 12 years, is that the vast majority, the VAST majority, support safe, legal abortion and safe access to such. There is also the problem of declining numbers of OB/GYN in the medical community, which is at least part of the reason these docs have to cover such a large area.

                • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/14/2015 - 12:02 pm.

                  So, in your vast experience, they support it, as long as someone else does it.

                  Lot of that going around these days.

                  • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/14/2015 - 12:49 pm.

                    It doesn’t help when they are harassed or murdered. It also doesn’t pay highly. And yes, our society is full of people who support things they wouldn’t do themselves.

                    The point is, they still support it.

                    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/14/2015 - 08:11 pm.

                      And animating instruction videos for medical devices makes you a spokesman for the AMA. Please.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/15/2015 - 02:26 pm.

                      You say instruction, I say “surgical technique”

                      I never claimed I was a spokesman for the AMA (the AMA is actually fairly silent on this- if your web-searching skills are sharp enough to find me on LinkedIn, they’re sharp enough to google ‘AMA ABORTION’). The AMA only says that they allow doctors to refuse doing the procedure, but also that doctors should not feel compelled to require minors to involve their parents before deciding whether to undergo an abortion, either.

                      What I DID say, was that in my experience, the vast amount of doctors I’ve known and worked with, support safe access to a legal procedure. And I’ve met a lot of doctors. And I grew up around a lot of doctors. Three of my closest friends from high-school are now doctors (an ER doc, an ophthalmologist, and an OB/GYN). my father-in-law is a doctor. Have I met some who personally opposed it? Yes, though they still thought it should remain legal. Have I met some who thought it should be illegal? Yes, (two dentists, one anesthesiologist, all men).

                      Point being, I never said I was speaking FOR doctors, or for the AMA, merely that I’ve known a ton in my short time, and I’m very good at getting people to talk to me. You don’t speak for the medical community either.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/15/2015 - 02:55 pm.

                      Anecdotally I should add that, while the doctors were generally on the ‘liberal’ side of that debate (even if they were fiscal or otherwise conservatives, as many of them were), the device engineers were often the hardcore tea-partier/libertarian/social conservative types.

                      This is generally borne out when you look at your posts, the same with John Appelin (sp?) and Dennis Tester. All engineering backgrounds, if I’m not mistaken.

                    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/16/2015 - 02:05 pm.

                      All the engineers I know are smart, proof driven people. When you tell them something, they’re going to verify it. I think that’s why most are conservative.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/16/2015 - 02:44 pm.

                      I’ve never suggested engineers aren’t smart at all, I would say just the opposite. You have to adhere to a certain rigidity of thought when you are working as an engineer, and that takes training and discipline. What I will say further about that, is that a more rigid mindset is also typical of conservatives, and in my experience, they apply that same rigidity to their politics. In a sense, they treat humans/citizens as inanimate, uniform variables that can be plugged into a system to produce a desired result (hence Mr. Appelin’s frequent questions about what percentages are best to achieve such and such). Which I think is a little ironic, in that those who so cherish their individuality, inherently want a system that doesn’t take into account individuality.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/16/2015 - 03:45 pm.

                      If the earlier post didn’t make it clear, I generally agree with this statement.

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/14/2015 - 12:41 pm.

                Even more likely

                The instinct for self-preservation kicked in. Another successful Second Amendment solution, I think.

  15. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/13/2015 - 10:09 pm.

    Biological hazards

    I’m pretty sure that biological hazards (blood, etc.) require proper disposal, regardless of location. In any case, because doctors and nurses are already licensed as part of their profession, it is incorrect to state that they are not regulated, let alone to the same degree as tatoo parlors. In any case, targeting abortion clinics (less than 10 of them) as opposed to ALL outpatient facilities (more than 1200 of them), which are regulated to the same degree as abortion clinics, makes it clear that it’s not about safety at all.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/15/2015 - 11:47 am.

      Regulations mean nothing without enforcement, Rachel. You cannot have enforcement without compliance inspections. Tattoo shops are inspected, Subway sandwich shops are inspected.

      I agree, all outpatient facilities should be inspected.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/16/2015 - 08:09 am.

        Oh good

        Come back when there’s a bill that subjects all outpatient clinics to inspection. Oh wait….abortion clinics ARE inspected. And subject to OSHA regulations. And the doctors and nurses are subject to licensing. But this bill isn’t about inspection, is it? It’s about licensing with requirements that wouldn’t be required for any other outpatient clinic. It’s not about safety, Mr. Swift. You have not caught me out in missing an important element of the debate. And I’m not going to fall for the suggestion that I am; I’m not so gullible.

  16. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/14/2015 - 11:34 am.

    Another policy based on ignorance

    These ALEC laws are either based on outright distortions of any reliable information, or considerable ignorance. It’s also always funny when these republicans pretend to represent collective “values”. I’ve never seen republican “represent” anything other than their own values which they are forever trying to impose on everyone else.

    The majority of Minnesotans and Americans continue to support a woman’s right to choose, and when you get into the details you find that many of those that appose abortion quickly question their opposition when presented with facts. When you explain for instance that making abortion illegal would mean that women would be punished for having one performed, opponents often become confused.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/14/2015 - 12:51 pm.

      “opponents often become confused”

      Why wouldn’t they? The only ones who would be prosecuted are the abortionists. And we all know that, which is why when told something else, people would “become confused.”

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/14/2015 - 08:17 pm.

      The fact is, the majority of Americans no longer approve of abortion on demand. A plurality approves only in cases of rape, incest or imminent harm to the mother. The number that don’t approve even then is growing.

      That’s why its always a good idea to check your facts before making an absolute assertion.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 04/15/2015 - 06:38 am.


        but one gallup poll DOES make for an absolute assertion. Thanks for clearing that up. It’s this kind of devotion to scientific method and gathering of empirical data that we’ve come to expect from what passes for conservatives.

  17. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/15/2015 - 10:58 am.

    And your qualifications?

    Always interesting to see mostly men argue about an issue that is essentially about women.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/15/2015 - 01:14 pm.

      The pro life message is carried by tens of millions of men and women. The demographic of commentators on the Minnpost only represents the readership here.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/15/2015 - 01:33 pm.

        The message

        The most prominent carrier of the anti-legal abortion message, as well as the anti-contraception message, is the Roman Catholic Church, an institution headed by men, most of whom took vows of celibacy in their late teens.

        Perhaps the second most prominent carriers would be evangelical conservatives, another male-dominated group.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/15/2015 - 03:48 pm.


        Whenever there is extreme violence by an anti abortion zealot we find a male perpetrator:

        March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of 1992. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Gunn’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

        July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility, the Ladies Center, in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings. Hill received a death sentence and was executed on September 3, 2003. The clinic in Pensacola had been bombed before in 1984 and was also bombed subsequently in 2012.

        December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi was arrested and confessed to the killings. He died in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.

        January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.

        October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death with a high-powered rifle at his home in Amherst, New York. His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Slepian’s murder after being apprehended in France in 2001.

        May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Scott Roeder as Tiller served as an usher at a church in Wichita, Kansas.

        See a trend here? Just a statistical anomaly?

        Founder of the most strident anti abortion organization, Operation Rescue, a man, Randall Terry, Currently led by Troy Newman.

        Certainly women make up a significant portion of pro-life supporters; but, when it comes to the lunatic fringe of abortion outrage it is an almost all male world.

        How can this be explained? I’ll take a chance at it:

        These men are outraged that a woman is allowed the freedom to make a unilateral choice on ending a pregnancy beyond their control and they are violently angry about it.

        • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/16/2015 - 08:19 am.

          That’s part of it

          The other part is that the individuals concerned about the “lives of babies” and the “safety of women” really aren’t. If they were, they’d oppose all kinds other things, like the death penalty and war. But these individuals are often the ones most supportive of the death penalty and war. That’s because it’s not about “murder” as they claim. It’s about control. People who can control their own bodies can’t be controlled by other people (e.g., men). And people who can control their reproduction also control their finances, so they can’t be controlled by other people (e.g., men in office). One of the main reasons that the Catholic Church still pushes for the development of every sperm/egg into a baby is that it enforces the male dominance views of the church. Otherwise, it would be inconsistent with the “be good to the earth as it’s God’s creation” message that is becoming louder (at least by the Pope).

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/15/2015 - 01:03 pm.

    It always funny

    When these self appointed guardians of our “values” try to convince themselves and everyone else that they’re a “majority”. Remember the: “Moral Majority” with was neither? It’s also kind of interesting that the same people who also claim a monopoly on integrity and values seem to so threatened by a minority status, as if they values would somehow be threatened unless a majority shared them.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/15/2015 - 05:32 pm.

      Paul, the growing tide against abortion has you upset; I understand. But no one is trying to convince you, we’re just providing the facts…take ’em or leave ’em, but there they are.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/15/2015 - 09:01 pm.

        Growing tide?

        Funny. Here’s your real problem: it doesn’t really matter what the polls say one way or another because:

        A) Polls don’t determine Supreme Court rulings.

        B) No matter what opinions people may have about abortion, less than 6%-8% of Americans list criminalizing abortion as any kind of priority whatsoever.

        Republicans have a history of trying to turn polls into policy as if having a personal opinion is the same as having a political priority. Guess what, just because 52% of Americans may think the Beatles are a classic rock band doesn’t mean they want to pass a law making the White Album the National Anthem. No mater what American’s may think about abortion, it’s not what they want their government focused on. Every time republicans bang away at abortion like this, they just demonstrate how irrelevant they and their agenda are becoming. These guys are supposed to be producing a workable state budget and instead we’re getting these back door ALEC initiatives from Texas. Carry on I say, 2016 is just around the corner.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/16/2015 - 07:08 am.

          Really Paul, I’m not looking for excuses from you. You said a majority approved of abortion; I just provided the facts for you.

          I must say though, I see a disconnect in your conclusion that Republican values make them irrelevant when the majority of Americans agree with them. Maybe you could explain how that works.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/16/2015 - 08:54 am.

            You’re being overly simplistic. Abortion isn’t really a matter of approval or disapproval… it’s not a binary equation, and you are intentionally dismissing the nuances of these numbers you keep citing, even. There are many who find abortion objectionable, abhorrent even, who would never do it themselves, but wouldn’t restrict other’s access. There are many who are simply apathetic. There are many who understand that it’s a very personal choice, and simply want to be respectful. People of good conscience can disagree, but what’s happening is that people like the Fischbachs pretend to care about women, but’s is a smokescreen to hold onto their “moral”, and mostly male, authority. Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one, Mr. Swift.

          • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2015 - 12:03 pm.


            Did you look at your Gallup poll facts? 47% Pro Choice, 46% Pro Life, 78% favor access to abortion, only 21% favor a full ban. And if you see a trend here I suggest you refer to:


            • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/16/2015 - 02:15 pm.

              78% favor access in only cases of rape, incest or health of the mother. A plurality favor restricting abortion to those cases. Those favoring a full ban is on the rise.

              • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2015 - 03:10 pm.

                Not Exactly…

                Have you carefully read the poll you supplied? It simple does not state this in the manner you are quoting. I read it from top to bottom and it only reinforces that we are a 50/50 nation on this and many other issues and for one side or the other to take a “my way or the highway” position will never lead to any kind of progress. Bill Clinton was right: legal, safe and rare. You will find many more on the left who agree with “rare” than those on the right who will agree with “legal”.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 04/16/2015 - 06:57 am.

        Right Swift…

        It’s a “growing tide” in the same way that a Romney landslide was imminent because someone saw a lot of lawn signs.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2015 - 08:26 am.

          Growing tide… until it’s not

          If this were a high school debate game Mr. Swift might get a point for having a “fact” or two at his disposal but alas we’re adults discussing actual policy.

          Abortion is very much like voter I.D. and anti-gay marriage attempts. On a superficial level they can have some support but only because they’re such low priorities for so many people. People tend not to pay a lot of attention to low priority issues and can be quite uninformed as a result. As we saw with the voter I.D. and pro-discrimination issues, support can evaporate rather quickly once people get reliable information.

          Take this: “Abortion on demand” concept for instance. You might get a high negative response using a term like that in a poll but that’s probably because most people don’t realize that there is no such thing in the United States. Most abortions are ALREADY illegal after the first trimester, so it’s simply not the case that a woman can demand an abortion at any time in the pregnancy no questions asked. You can get high anti-abortion poll results depending on the questions and terminology you use but the moment you start to probe even just a little, about privacy, birth defects, medical complications, criminal sanctions, etc. pro-choice sentiment displaces anti-abortion sentiment very quickly.

          IF conservatives on the Supreme Court ever overturn Roe v.Wade; they will do so by declaring that American’s have no constitutional right to privacy (Guys like Clarence Thomas and Scalia think privacy is a legal fiction created by activist judges). Furthermore, a ruling that a fetus is a “person” would have the practical effect of making every fertilized egg in the country a ward of the State (remember, the government’s responsible for enforcing the Bill of Rights). Given these facts there’s almost no support for overturning Roe v. Wade. People like their privacy, and they don’t want prosecutors and politicians in their bedrooms or wombs. Talk about a big guvmnt solution to a non-problem. Very few people would choose to pay such a price in order to criminalize abortion. Meanwhile, the number of abortions is dropping due to more widely available birth control and health care.

          If you REALLY want to decrease abortions you’d stop trying to put people in jail and start providing high wages, education, contraception, affordable health care, and food security. Instead conservatives rely on their tried and true compulsion to dictate “values” rather than solve problems.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/16/2015 - 08:54 am.

          Little late for red herrings, isn’t it Myron? Romney has nothing to do with the emerging consensus in America that abortion is wrong any way you cut it.

          Facts. There they are.

  19. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/15/2015 - 01:09 pm.

    Yes, confused.

    ” The only ones who would be prosecuted are the abortionists. And we all know that, which is why when told something else, people would “become confused.”

    Really? Say’s who?

    Anti-abortionists are constantly declaring that abortion is murder and frequently describing the abortion regime in this country as being akin to a Holocaust. Yet the women responsible for all these murders are not to be charged with a crime when we criminalize abortion? If I hire a someone to murder my wife is only the hit-man guilty of a crime? Does this mean that anti-abortionists have not problem with abortion pills because they are self administered by the woman herself?

    Yes, one we get into facts and details anti-abortionists do tend to get confused and then start making conflicting claims.

  20. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2015 - 10:27 am.

    Just one more point

    I’m not saying these alleged “facts” about clinics in Texas are wrong, but I don’t trust them. Anti abortionists have a long and documented history of distorting and manufacturing facts so I just don’t trust them, and frankly I don’t even bother to fact check their facts, been there done that.

    Nevertheless let’s say for the sake of argument that there are shoddy clinics providing abortions in Texas… How’d that happen? How did women end up seeking abortions in shoddy run-down clinics instead of reputable clinics and hospitals in Texas in the first place? You don’t suppose it has anything to do with Texas legislators passing law after after law and restriction after restriction making it impossible for women to get an abortion in a reputable clinic or hospital?

    See this is fact that makes these claims about being concerned about “safe” abortionists and women’s health so transparently disingenuous. One of the reasons we made abortion legal in the first place was all the botched procedures in alleys with coat hangers and what not in all the decades prior to Roe v. Wade. So here you have decades of republican efforts designed to deny women safe opportunities for abortions and then they claim to just be concerned about safety? Booshwa!

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/16/2015 - 11:31 am.

      Forget about Texas, you don’t live there and have no say in how Texans run their state.

      Concentrate on Minnesota. If you are really concerned about the safety of Minnesota abortion shops, why would you object to having them regulated and inspected?

      Did you read the description of Gosnell’s abitoir? How do you know, with any certainty there isn’t one just like it in Minnesota?

      Right now, you can’t and you don’t. Gosnell is not unique. Abortion shops have been fined and closed for filthy, unsanitary conditions and procedures all over the country.

      I believe y’all are afraid at what they might find, and the political agenda is too important to you to risk any further scandals.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2015 - 12:05 pm.

        Like most people

        I see no reason to change our policy on abortions in MN.

      • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/16/2015 - 02:11 pm.

        Gosnell is unique. Prove otherwise, if you can.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/17/2015 - 03:23 pm.

          For someone with so much to say in the subject, you’re pretty uninformed.

          When you consider what goes on in there, it’s not surprising a lot of abortion shops are dangerous, filthy, horror shows.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/17/2015 - 04:51 pm.


            The first story involved the closing of a clinic for violations stemming from a death in 2008. The second story (and we know how credible the Daily Caller is) was about a clinic being fined for violating existing rules. he rules were being enforced.

            Let’s take this out of the realm of abortion and make an analogy to guns. Gun fanciers are always saying we don’t need new laws, just enforce the ones they have. Enforcement would lead to fines, some imprisonment, and the occasional confiscation of guns. When that happens, when the laws we have are being enforced, does that prove we need to ban guns? Look at Sandy Hook! How about Aurora? Are you calling those isolated incidents?

            According to the CDC, 12 women died from legal abortion in 2008 (the last year for which reliable figures are available). How many people in the US do you suppose died as a result of being shot that year?

            Of course, restricting guns does not relate to controlling women’s bodies, so I see the very obvious distinction there.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/17/2015 - 04:51 pm.

            Aside from my previous point about the Ohio clinic actually being, you know, inspected, those violations cannot be compared to what was going on in Gosnell’s clinic. Not remotely. At least not while keeping a straight face. The Daily Caller is also a conservative opinion site founded by Tucker Carlson.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/16/2015 - 06:51 pm.


      We can be assured that “all other Clinics” in Texas meet the highest standards, especially the ones in low income and immigrant neighborhoods! Right?

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