MMA Asks Governor to Veto Two Abortion Bills; He Vetoes One
[MMA News Now, April 26, 2012] On April 24, the MMA sent letters to Gov. Mark Dayton asking him to veto two abortion-related bills that place, in MMA’s opinion, unnecessary restrictions on legal medical procedures.
On Thursday, April 26, Dayton vetoed SF 1921, which called for creating a new licensing requirement for clinics and other outpatient health centers in which 10 or more abortions are performed per month. Clinics are not currently licensed and the MMA objected to a procedure-based approach to licensing absent evidence of safety or quality of care problems. Physicians, nurses and other health-care workers at these facilities already have to be licensed.
The other bill, HF 2341, requires prescribing physicians to be physically present when patients take a pregnancy-terminating drug such as RU-486. The bill’s requirements go beyond current FDA prescribing information without any evidence to support the additional burden. The bill’s implication for the use of telemedicine in Minnesota is also of concern, the letter said. Bill supporters have said that the legislation has been introduced for the woman’s safety, to ensure a physician’s presence in case the drug has an adverse effect on her. However, the MMA pointed out in its letter to the governor that the greatest risk, although still very small, of using the pill comes from sepsis and does not occur when the drug is initially taken but rather over the following two weeks.
“The MMA’s concern, and the reason for the letter urging the vetoes, is that these pieces of legislation inappropriately intrude on the practice of medicine in the state of Minnesota,” said Janet Silversmith, the MMA’s director of health policy.