A Northern Champ: Mark Dayton and a Southern Chump: Nathan Deal
This week’s Champ hails from the northern state of Minnesota: it’s Governor Mark Dayton.
In one week, Governor Dayton vetoed two bad anti-women’s health bills that were being pushed through by the conservative Minnesota state legislature. The bills in question would have required unnecessary restrictions both for women seeking comprehensive care and for health centers that provide abortion care.
Dayton defended his decision to veto a bill that would have criminally charged doctors who were not physically present (and instead used telemedicine) to prescribe and administer medication abortion. He argued telemedicine was “safe, accessible and cost-effective for patients,” seeking legal medical procedures. The proposed law would have burdened women from rural communities who are seeking access to comprehensive care, and as Dayton wrote, “Minnesota’s laws should not target or restrict the constitutional rights of women.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Defending his veto of legislation that would target facilities which provide abortion, Dayton called out his anti-women’s health colleagues, "If regulation of clinics were the concern, the bill should have required licensure of all clinics, not just a select few. If the Legislature wants to create a new regulatory scheme for health care clinics, then all clinics should be treated equally. No clinic or procedure should be the focus of special and unique regulatory requirements." For standing up for women, we’re giving Governor Dayton this week’s Champ of the week title!
This week’s chump was undeniable; it’s Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia. Deal earned this award of dishonor for signing a ban that places severe limits on when women can get abortions — with no exceptions for rape or incest. This means that women will lose the right to end a pregnancy before they receive important information about their own health — they would be denied the ability to make their own choices about their own bodies.
Deal may argue that the law adds “humane protection” based on an unscientific claim of fetal pain, but it will be the women who are denied the care they need, in the most vulnerable of situations, who will suffer the most. You only have to look to states like Nebraska where women like Danielle Deaver experience the true nature of such an extreme ban. Critical medical decisions should be left to women, their doctors, their family and their faith. It shouldn’t be political. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Governor Deal is trying to do and that’s exactly why he’s our Chump of the Week.