The 2022 legislative session is in full swing. While progressives in the legislature are working tirelessly to respond to the needs of our communities and deliver for hardworking Minnesotans, conservatives once again have shown that they are only interested in gutting constitutional rights, and serving pharmaceutical companies, and the ultra-wealthy.
Here’s what we see from conservatives this session:
Abortion health care is under attack.
Within the first week of the legislative agenda, conservatives introduced a Texas-style abortion ban that enacts sweeping restrictions on abortion and allows people to bring civil action against anyone who violates the law or even intends to do so.
To make matters worse, the bill is supported by conservative candidates for governor, Paul Gazelka, Kendall Qualls and Scott Jensen, and Michelle Benson, who have all committed to restricting abortion access if elected.
Abortion is essential health care. With Roe v. Wade in jeopardy in the Supreme Court, Minnesota needs leaders who will protect our reproductive freedom at the state level, not conservatives who want to steal our right to choose.
Reckless anti-vaccine bills
Conservatives continue to demonstrate a complete disregard for science and the guidance of medical experts when it comes to treating and mitigating COVID-19 spread. As soon as the chamber doors opened, conservatives introduced a bill requiring pharmacies to make Ivermectin, a drug used to treat head lice that some falsely claim helps cure COVID-19 infections, available over the counter.
Ivermectin has no proven success as a treatment for or prevention of COVID-19. When it was first gaining momentum in 2021, NPR reported on the politicization of unproven pharmaceuticals as dangerous means of covid treatment:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert reminding clinicians that Ivermectin is not an FDA-approved treatment for COVID, noting the insufficient evidence of benefit, and pointing out that increased use of Ivermectin had already led to accidental poisonings. Vaccination, the CDC reiterated, is still the best way to avoid serious illness and death from the coronavirus.”
We have been fighting this virus for two years; the last thing we need is more dangerous misinformation and the legalization of unproven treatments that experts are warning us against.
An attack on democracy
Conservatives continue their ruthless attack on democracy and the right to vote this session by introducing restrictive voting rights legislation.
Days into the session, they introduced HF2732, which would implement sweeping restrictions on voting rights even though Minnesotans already rejected a voter ID constitutional amendment. The bill includes voter ID requirements, absentee ballot restrictions, strict reporting provisions, and dramatic changes to in-person voting protocols.
Election year after election year, Minnesota voters turn out to the polls more than any other state in the nation. That’s due, in large part, to our strong civic culture around voting and our modern election system.
Conservatives have shown that they are unashamed in disrupting our leadership in voter turnout by creating barriers to the ballot box and causing an undue burden for eligible voters across the state.
It’s clear that conservatives don’t have a vision for Minnesota that serves all of our communities.
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