Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) on Monday vetoed a controversial bill that would limit access to drugs such as the morning-after pill.
The legislation, sponsored by GOP state Rep. Joyce Peppin, would have required doctors to be physically present for the prescribing, as well as taking, of emergency contraceptive pills such as Plan B.
Current law allows for the drug to be administered via video conference by an abortion provider present at a remote location.
Peppin had argued for her measure's merit as a step to protect women who might suffer from side-effects of such medication. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that opponents claimed popular over-the-counter drugs such as Viagra or Tylenol had a much higher rate of side-effects, and that Peppin's bill was actually an attempt to restrict women's rights to choose.
"This bill's unique, new regulatory burden for a single procedure would increase the cost of health care and add unnecessary new barriers to a Constitutionally protected health care service for women," Dayton wrote in his veto statement. "Minnesota's laws should not target or restrict the Constitutional rights of women."
Last week, Dayton vetoed another divisive proposal that would have required the state to license any healthcare facility that provides 10 or more abortions a month.
"The legislation targets only facilities which provide abortions," Dayton wrote. "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."
Dayton's record of fighting restrictions to abortion also extends beyond this legislative session. In 2011, Republicans in the state pushed through bills designed to criminalize abortions beyond 20 weeks and ban public funding for abortions. Dayton vetoed both.