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Persell voted against common-sense legislation that would protect women

Many issues come before the Legislature, but I would like to highlight two issues aimed at protecting women's health that were voted on by legislators in recent weeks. One would require the licensing of abortion facilities and the other would require that a physician be physically present when administering potentially dangerous chemical abortion drugs.

Currently in Minnesota, abortion facilities are not licensed or inspected by the state. While outpatient surgical centers are licensed, the major abortion facilities, which perform nearly all of the outpatient surgical abortions in Minnesota, are not.

Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji) voted against common-sense legislation that would provide for minimum health and safety standards for these facilities to ensure that women are protected from potentially unsafe and dangerous clinic settings.

Planned Parenthood recently revealed that it has been providing women with abortion-inducing drugs -- which are only supposed to be administered by a physician -- without women ever being in the same room as a doctor. Instead, the woman talks via video conference with a doctor who is in another location. These "webcam abortions" are a low-cost way for Planned Parenthood to encourage women to have an abortion, even though it is dangerous -- and can be deadly -- for the women supposedly being helped.

Legislation would have required that a physician be physically present when administering the drugs. Rep. Persell voted against this women's safety measure, even saying angrily during debate, "One of the most dangerous things a woman does is give birth to a child and you know it. Way more dangerous than the drug you're trying to protect them from. Doesn't make sense. Hypocrisy!"

Rep. Persell even voted for a phony "Viagra amendment," which mocked the seriousness of the abortion decision and procedure by attempting to amend the bill to equate Viagra with the dangerous abortion drug. Both of these bills focused on reasonable efforts to protect women's health, yet Rep. Persell voted against these bills.

We need a representative who will do everything possible to protect the safety of women.

Leo LaLonde

President, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life