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Governor Dayton issues second veto of the year, blocking abortion bill

The bill would have forced doctors to ask abortion-seeking patients if they want to see an ultrasound.
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Governor Mark Dayton has issued his second veto of this legislative session, blocking an abortion bill that passed the House and Senate last week.

The bill would have made it a requirement for doctors to ask any abortion-seeking patient whether they want to see an ultrasound of the fetus before proceeding.

But in his letter to Senate President Michelle Fischbach, Dayton said the bill "interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, legislating the private conversations that occur about a legal medical procedure."

"In addition, providers are already fulfilling their legal, ethical, and professional duties to fully inform their patients of the benefits, risks, and alternatives of any medical procedure," he adds.

He cites opposition from the Minnesota Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Minnesota Section, as part of his reasoning.

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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.

The House 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.

But it had opposition from Democrats in the Legislature, who argued a better way to prevent abortion was to promote access to affordable birth control.

Dayton last week vetoed a bill that would have changed protections for lakes containing wild rice in Minnesota.

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