MN war on women: possible veto override?


The Minnesota legislature has passed two bills that attack a women’s right to make reproductive choices. One bill removes a women’s access to abortion services solely because she is poor. This eliminates equality that is long established in MN and is unconstitutional. This sets up the state for legal challenges and legislative leaders have set up a special legislative fund to pay for this (instead of things like medication for the poor).  The second bill prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, supplanting the doctor-patient relationship with politics. This would prevent families from making medical decisions and remove one legal option option from them. Women seeking abortions after 20 weeks are doing so because wanted pregnancies have gone wrong. Forcing women to continue with a pregnancy because religious organizations don’t like the procedure is cruel and unconstitutional.  

Governor Dayton will veto these bills. The question is: can the democrats hold it together to uphold the veto? The senate needs 45 (37 GOP) votes and the House needs 90 (72 GOP). 

The 20 week abortion ban passed 42-24 in the senate and 82-46 in the house. The funding ban passed 40-26 in the senate and 80-44 in the house.

In the house, there were 13 democrats who voted for each bill. Adding in absent members who will vote for the bills, the GOP would need 5 more democrats (in addition to those who voted for the bills) to vote to override. There were two democrats who split votes on this bill, assuming they both vote to override for both bills that would leave them needing 4 more votes. Looking back at the voting records of all the members who voted no and pulling likely targets, I can’t see how they could possibly pull enough members to vote against their own party’s governor. That would be 18 democrats, that if voted to override the veto would, hopefully, be shown the door in 2012.

In the senate, the GOP would need 3 democrats to flip on the 20 week ban and 5 for the funding ban (in addition to those who voted for the bills). Again looking at the voting records of members, I just don’t see that happening. Though the numbers are so close in both the house and senate, a little bit of me still worries.

There will be chatter of ‘purity tests’ and ‘big tents’. To that, I say bulls**t. The party has a big tent to support and fight for people in all walks of life. The democratic party should not be supporting bigotry, hatred and intolerance. Women’s issues too often get thrown under the bus under the guise of winning in ‘mixed districts’. This is a pathetic and lazy rationale for hurting women’s health. Politicians need to suck it up and have difficult conversations. You can be ‘prolife’ and not ‘antichoice’. They should be explaining to their constituents that they will fight to reduce the numbers of abortions by promoting education and health programs to prevent unintended pregnancies. But they know that a woman’s life and health should not be placed in jeopardy because politicians think they know better than doctors. Going on to explain that politicians shouldn’t be regulating people’s bodies. Three simple lines to explain that keeping legislation out of people’s personal lives is something we can agree on.

These are the politicians who have taken the easy way out by hurting women’s health and attempting to put more legislation between a family and their doctors.

Atkins, Joe 39B
Dill, David 6A
Dittrich, Denise 47A
Eken, Kent 2A
Fritz, Patti 26B
Hosch, Larry 14B
Kath, Kory 26A
Koenen, Lyle 20B
Lenczewski, Ann 40B
Marquart, Paul 9B
Morrow, Terry 23A
Murphy, Mary 6B
Pelowski Jr., Gene 31A
Ward, John 12A

Gary Kubly SD20
Keith Langseth SD9
Tom Saxhaug SD3
Dan Sparks SD27
LeRoy Stumpf SD1