November 28, 2012 Print

Minnesota Taxpayers Challenge State Abortion Funding

by Bethany Monk

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of two Minnesota taxpayers challenging the state’s unauthorized use of state funds being used for elective abortions.

The plaintiffs in Walker v. Jesson are suing to prevent the state from using public funds to pay for non-therapeutic abortions on indigent women.

The Minnesota Legislature passed a statute in the late 1970s limiting the abortions it would pay for, and also banned taxpayer funding for elective abortions. In 1995, the state Supreme Court struck down part of the statute, ruling that the state cannot withhold state funding for abortions that are “medically necessary.” The abortions at the center of this case are not medically necessary, and therefore excluded from taxpayer funding.  

The reporting statistics are unambiguous, said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden.

“Forty percent of the abortions are being executed on African American babies even though they make up only 5 percent of the state’s population,” Aden said. “This lawsuit intends it to stop happening.”

State taxpayers paid for more than 47,000 abortions on indigent women from 1999 to 2011, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Only 10,044 of these abortions were done for “medically necessary” reasons, which means the state paid for more than 37,000 unauthorized abortions.

The plaintiffs are Brian and Denise Walker, a married couple who filed the suit on behalf of themselves and other Minnesota taxpayers. Both plaintiffs are African American.

Read Walker v. Jesson.