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Abortions down in annual Minnesota abortion report

Abortion numbers have dropped in eight of the last nine years in Minnesota to their lowest level since 1974. Officials at Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life attributed the drop in part to the success of lifeaffirming laws that provide women with abortion information and alternatives and empower them to choose life for their unborn children — and themselves.

The annual Abortion Report, issued July 1 by the Minnesota Department of Health, showed a decrease in 2015 of 2.6 percent, following a trend of fewer abortions statewide since MCCL helped to enact the Positive Alternatives law, which took effect in July 2006. The report also shows that nearly 1,700 women decided to give birth after considering the Woman’s Right to Know factual information about fetal development, abortion and alternatives.

“Minnesotans can take pride in the fact that all of the services and resources being marshalled to help pregnant women are actually reaching them and saving lives,” said Scott Fischbach, MCCL’s executive director. “Today’s report is further evidence that women don’t want abortion, and when they find help they have hope.”

MCCL officials say pro-life legislation has helped to empower women in their desire to give birth to their unborn babies. Positive Alternatives offers women life-affirming alternatives to abortion by funding programs that help them with health care, housing, education, transportation and much more. The state’s Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law and the parental notification law for minors considering abortion also serve to empower women and girls with factual information and trustworthy support.

“Many factors have contributed to this long-term trend of declining abortions,” Fischbach said. “Women in need have been helped and protective laws have been enacted. Pro-life educational efforts and ultrasound technology have revealed to more and more people the humanity of the unborn child and the injustice of abortion.”

The 2015 total of 9,861 abortions is a reduction of 2.6 percent from the previous year’s 10,123 total. More than half were performed on women in their 20s. A total of 11,553 women received the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent information, meaning 1,692 women chose not to abort after learning about fetal development, abortion risks and complications, and abortion alternatives. The report also shows that taxpayer funded abortions grew to 43 percent of all abortions reported in the state, the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez state Supreme Court ruling requiring taxpayers to fund abortions.

Planned Parenthood bucks trend

Planned Parenthood continues to defy state and national trends of declining abortion numbers by performing more abortions. As Minnesota’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood enlarged its market beyond 50 percent for the first time, despite a decrease in abortions statewide, according to the report.

Planned Parenthood increased its abortions by 28.5 percent from 2011 to 2015 and has more than doubled its abortion business since 2000. Beginning in 2007, state abortion totals declined each year except in 2014, when the number rose 2 percent. In contrast, Planned Parenthood’s annual abortion numbers were down from the previous year in only two of those nine years. Planned Parenthood’s 2015 total of 5,048 abortions was its highest number ever, and a record market share of 51.2 percent of all abortions performed in Minnesota.

Other statistics were more encouraging. Just 246 abortions were performed on minors, accounting for 2.5 percent of the total. This is the smallest number since the state began recording minor abortions in 1975 and represents a decline of 89 percent from their peak in 1980, the year prior to passage of Minnesota’s Parental Notification law.

However, abortions were performed at a rate of more than 27 every day last year. More than 40 percent of abortions in 2015 were performed on women who had undergone at least one prior abortion; 703 women had had three or more previous abortions. The report also shows that African Americans remain a target of the abortion industry. They represent just 5.5 percent of the state’s population, yet 24 percent of abortions were performed on African Americans.

Minnesota’s five abortion facilities (six locations) performed 99 percent of all abortions in 2015. Late-term abortions (after week 20) increased from 97 to 122. The latest abortion was performed at 29 weeks (in 2014 the latest was at 27 weeks)

Full reports for 2015 and prior years are available at the MDH website, www.health.state.mn.us.