Republicans target abortion clinics with new restrictions

A Senate committee Monday will debate two bills placing restrictions on abortions and clinics that provide abortions in Minnesota through licensure and requirements for use of medication designed to end pregnancy.

Under one of the bills, all clinics in Minnesota that perform more than 10 abortions each month would have to get a license from the state and would be subject to random inspections.

The other bill would require a doctor to be present whenever a woman takes RU-486, a medication that ends pregnancies in the first nine weeks. The bill would bar any use of video conference, and require a doctor to be physically present when a woman takes the medication.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will debate both bills, which are sponsored by Republican Sens. Paul Gazelka and Claire Robling.

Republican-sponsored abortion legislation also came up during last year's legislative session. But DFL Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed bills that would ban abortion after 20 weeks and end public funding for abortions for poor women.