Republicans on the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed the measure on an 8-5 party line vote Tuesday. The bill would prohibit public dollars from paying for abortions for low-income women on state-funded health care programs.
The bill also designates original jurisdiction with the state Supreme Court on any constitutional challenges. Republican Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville insisted that the designation is appropriate.
"The issue is does the Minnesota state Constitution require taxpayers to fund elective abortions," Thompson said. "That doesn't require fact finding. That is a legal question that can be handled by the Supreme Court without taking evidence in a district court setting."