Emboldened by solid anti-choice majorities in both bodies of the Minnesota legislature -- and with a loyal friend in the governor's mansion -- the MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life) has introduced what they misleadingly call the "Taxpayer Protection Act" (S.F. 431/H.F. 436.) With its breathtaking scope and indefensible assault on a constitutionally protected right, the bill is more appropriately called the Super Gag Rule.
As written, the bill would not only cut funds to clinics where abortion is discussed, it would essentially cut off all state funds from going to any organization that refers, provides or counsels patients about abortions. Un-believably, defunding would also occur if an organization "maintains a policy in writing or through oral public statements that abortion is considered part of a continuum of family planning services, reproductive health services, or both." How can this be acceptable to anyone? Is there any other topic let alone a legal and constitutionally protected one - that doctors and nurses may be forbidden by law to discuss with their patients? Of course not.
If the Super Gag Rule succeeds, lawmakers will no doubt congratulate themselves for keeping every last public penny out of the hands of providers who dare to offer patients an ethical standard of care. What will they think of next?
Timothy D. Stanley
(Affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League)
Do I understand the "Ice Ridge" story correctly? The public water in front of my property expands, causes damage to my property (you know, the stuff I pay taxes on), and somebody wants to charge me to repair the damage done?
What kind of convoluted reasoning is that? That's exactly what it is: convoluted! In fact, maybe the private property owners whose lakeshore has been damaged by the publicly-owned ice should be charging Crow Wing County, et al., for any of our repair costs.
Some of the above is tongue-in-cheek; not all, get real!
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