Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen(DFL-Edina) said DFLers made an urgent push on the Senate floor today to protect reproductive health care rights in Minnesota and to support the state’s children and families with a series of bills that were all rejected by the Senate Republican majority.
She said the urgency of the measures has become heightened in recent days as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to strip away women’s privacy rights with a decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that has stood for five decades. Throughout the debate over each of the nine bills, members of the Republican majority sat mostly silent.
“The world is very different today than it was just two weeks ago when it comes to reproductive health care rights, and with the U.S. Supreme Court ready to take away a woman’s right to choose, we knew we needed to act now to ensure Minnesotans don’t lose the rights that many have had their entire lives,”said Sen. López Franzen. “Our actions today were designed to communicate the urgency of this fight and to show Minnesotans which side of this debate we are on, and which side the Republican majority is on. Their silence during the debate spoke volumes to us and to millions of Minnesotans.”
The measures were brought to the floor for debate by DFLers after the Republican majority refused to give them a committee hearing. They included:
- A bill to codify an individual’s right to make private, individual decisions about reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion, and pregnancy.
- The Patient’s Right to Know Act, which would allow health care providers to give patients health information that is medically accurate, evidence-based, and appropriate for the patient prior to administering an abortion.
- The Protect Access to Contraception Act, which requires health plans to cover contraceptive methods and services with no cost-sharing requirements.
- Family Planning Grants Appropriation increases grant funding for the state Family Planning Special Projects Program.
- A bill to establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave program for Minnesotans
- A bill to require hospitals and health providers to allow pregnant patients to have a designated support person accompany them at any healthcare visit.
- A bill to allow the Minnesota Department of Health to study health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- A bill to expand the family home visiting program to serve more families with children under 5. Increased grant funding would be distributed to community health boards, Tribal Nations, and non-profits for the delivery of home visiting services.
- A bill to allow a victim of “stealthing” – the removal of a condom during intercourse without permission – to seek civil action against the perpetrator.