Bill requiring 24-hour wait killed by Ventura

Megan Boldt

Gov. Jesse Ventura vetoed a bill Friday that would have required women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
“I decided that it is wrong for government to assume a role in something that I always believed was between a woman, her family, her doctor and if she chooses, her clergy,” Ventura said to his staff and reporters Friday.
Ventura’s administration received about 10,000 calls last week from citizens about the bill, said John Wodele, Ventura’s spokesman.
“Listening to the people has brought me back to the convictions that have always been the centerpiece of my administration,” Ventura said. “Convictions like personal responsibility, self-sufficiency and limited government.”
Ventura would not take questions from reporters.
The bill would have required doctors to provide to those seeking abortions information about abortion alternatives, fetal development, medical risks, the father’s obligation and options for help in the community. The information would have been given at least 24 hours before a scheduled abortion.
House Republicans were surprised and disappointed by the veto, said House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon.
“This was a negotiated bill with the governor’s office,” Sviggum said. “This bill was supposed to bring people together on a controversial issue.”
Sviggum said other parts of the bill, which were removed, included providing the doctor performing the abortion’s name and some that could have caused civil liabilities. He also said many pro-choice legislators voted for the bill.
“I can’t imagine getting a more balanced bill,” Sviggum said.
University area Sen. Carol Flynn, DFL-Minneapolis, said she was pleased by the governor’s veto.
“He would have created a dangerous and serious precedent of controlling women’s reproductive rights if he would have signed the bill,” Flynn said.
She said the bill would have only applied to women, and if only women legislators had voted on it, the measure would have failed by a 2-1 margin, Flynn said.
She added that those who have been fighting for women’s reproductive rights are beginning to retire.
“Others will have to pick up the battle,” Flynn said. “This measure will go through unless people vote for pro-choice legislators.”

Megan Boldt covers state government and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.