by Steven Ertelt
July 19, 2005
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Minnesota’s abortion numbers are down to their lowest totals since 1975, according to new figures from the state’s health department. Pro-life groups are crediting a law that ensures women considering abortion are given information about its risks and alternatives.
The Minnesota Department of Health says there were 13,788 abortions reported in 2004, compared to 14,174 in 2003 — a decrease of nearly three percent.
"More women are deciding to give life to their unborn babies in our state and this is a positive trend," said Scott Fischbach, director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "With the recent passage of life-affirming legislation to inform and support pregnant women, we hope this trend will accelerate."
The abortion report covers 2004, the first full year the Woman’s Right to Know law was in place. The law requires abortion centers to inform women of abortion risks, complications and alternatives. It also provides women with facts on fetal development throughout gestation, the facts of fetal pain and other vital information.
In 2004, a total of 15,859 pregnant women sought out information about abortion services, but only 13,788 decided to undergo the procedure.
Fischbach said that means the information helped persuade over 2,000 women to decide against having an abortion.
"One of our great hopes in passing Woman’s Right to Know was that more pregnant women would make an informed decision not to abort their babies, and this is clearly happening," Fischbach observed.
Though the number of abortions in the state declined, the number of women experiencing complications from their abortions is on the rise. In 2003, 133 women reported abortion complications and 145 women reported problems associated with their abortion in 2004.
Meanwhile, the number of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood facilities in state increased, from 3005 in 2003 up to 3174 in 2004.
Abortions have been on the decline in many other states in the last few years, with others also showing the lowest abortion totals since the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion or shortly thereafter.
Abortions on women in Washington state are at their lowest points since the state started collecting data in 1980, according to a May report. Also in May, the state of Wisconsin reported that abortion rates there are at their lowest levels since 1974.
The number of abortions performed on Kansas women has declined 10% since 1996 and abortions in Kentucky have been steadily dropping for more than a decade with 3,502 in 2002 and 9,590 in 1991.
New statistics in the state of Illinois show a whopping 10 percent drop in the number of abortions performed last year. The new numbers take the state to its lowest number of annual abortions in thirty years.
Since 1988, abortions have dropped a whopping 53 percent in South Carolina. After peaking at 8,814 in 1991, the number of abortions in 2002 in Mississippi fell to just 3,605.