Today, the Minnesota House will vote on the GOP-backed Health & Human Services Omnibus bill. The bill contains a number of provisions, notably one to defund Planned Parenthood.
Despite a $900 million surplus, Republicans are providing $0 in new investments to the vast Health & Human Services budget area, meaning they are choosing not to make needed investments in things like pay for home healthcare workers, mental health, and reducing healthcare disparities.
Instead, Republicans are using the bill as a vehicle to advance their Tea Party social issue agenda, which so far this session also includes policing bathrooms, restricting fetal tissue research at the U of MN, and other anti-choice bills like TRAP laws that would force abortion providers out of the state.
At an anti-choice rally earlier this year, Speaker Daudt (R-Crown/Zimmerman/Stanford Township) said, “I’m really proud to say…that 100 percent of our Republican caucus is very strongly anti-abortion.”
The thing is, 100 percent of Minnesotans aren’t anti-choice like the Republican majority. In fact, research shows a majority of voters support Planned Parenthood.
There’s a lot of work left to do this session – from a tax bill (Republicans failed to pass a viable one last year), to a bonding bill, to long term investment in our state’s transportation infrastructure. Yet here we are, again, focusing on social issues to please ultra-conservative base voters and wealthy Republican donors.
We should be focusing on building a better future for all Minnesotans, not targeting women’s health care.