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Governor Dayton faces decision on abortion bill

It would require doctors to ask abortion-seeking patients if they want to see an ultrasound.

Governor Mark Dayton will have a decision to make on an abortion bill that passed both the Minnesota House and the Senate this week.

The House bill and its Senate companion would require Minnesota doctors treating abortion-seeking patients if they want to view an ultrasound of the fetus before they proceed.

It's not compulsory for the patient to view the ultrasound before getting the abortion, it would just require doctors to offer the option.

The Republican-backed bills were passed by a 79-48 vote in the House on Thursday, after earlier passing the Senate by a vote of 37-30.

But there was plenty of debate before the vote was taken, with Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL–Eagan) saying it's important that the state shouldn't get between a doctor and its patients, according to the Session Daily.

And Rep. Erik Koegel (DFL-Spring Lake Park) said if the Legislature's goal was to prevent abortions, they should do more to promote access to affordable birth control.

But Republicans, including the bill's co-author Rep. Abigail Whelan (R–Ramsey), said it was about making sure that those undecided about whether to get an abortion can make an informed decision.

She described it as helping undecided women make up their minds, adding that it would cut down the number of those who regret having an abortion.

“As a woman and as a legislator, I think more information is better,” she said.

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