MN Senate Committee Advances Medically Unnecessary Requirements for Abortion Providers
SF 1636 singles out abortion providers and forces them to jump through hoops despite the fact that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures
March 16, 2021
St. Paul, MN— Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy committee voted to advance SF 1636, a bill that would add medically unnecessary licensure requirements for abortion clinics, mandating that these providers register with the state. The bill singles out abortion providers, despite the fact that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures  Furthermore, the spectrum of services provided at reproductive health clinics are already subject to the same rigorous regulations and standards as any other clinic that provides similar care in Minnesota.
An exact version of this bill was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton in 2017.
“This bill singles out abortion doctors based on politically ideology, not facts or medicine,” said Sarah Stoesz, President of Planned Parenthood Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota Action Fund. “Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure and the real aim of the bill is to make it more difficult for people to access abortion. Patients and their health care providers – not anti-abortion politicians – should be the people making decisions about reproductive health care in Minnesota.”
Multiple medical professionals and organizations also oppose the bill, including the Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, and WE Health Clinic. The Minnesota Medical Association called the bill, “a dangerous overreach into the patient-physician relationship.”
The Reproductive Health Access Network Minnesota, a group of 97 interprofessional health care providers from across Minnesota, said the bill interferes with medical professionals’ ability to provide health care.
“Imposing these types of baseless restrictions specifically on clinics providing abortion aims to stigmatize and reduce access to essential reproductive health care for Minnesotans and does not actually benefit patient safety. It simply interferes with Minnesotans’ ability to get the care that they need,” the organization wrote in submitted opposition to the bill.
Since abortion was legalized in 1973, clinics that provide abortions have been designated as ‘physician clinics’ and are regulated by physician licensure rules through Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. All medical professionals, including those who work at reproductive health clinics, are required to maintain professional standards and licenses and complete continuing medical education courses.