Minnesota Stats Show Abortions Drop 7% to New Historic Low

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 26, 2011   |   11:33AM   |   Washington, DC

New statistics from the state health department in Minnesota show the number of abortions there have dropped once again to the lowest point since 1975, thanks in part to a program that provides help for pregnant women.

Abortion numbers fell for the fourth straight year in Minnesota, according to the latest report issued today from the Minnesota Department of Health. The decrease follows a trend of fewer abortions statewide since the Positive Alternatives program began in July 2006, funding efforts to help pregnant women in need.

The annual Abortion Report shows a total of 11,505 abortions were done in Minnesota in 2010, more than seven percent fewer than the 12,388 done in 2009.The 2010 total is the lowest number on record since two years after the Roe v. Wade decision released by the U.S. Supreme Court struck down pro-life laws protecting women and unborn children across the country.

Positive Alternatives is one of several pro-life legislative efforts by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) to offer women life-affirming alternatives to abortion and to significantly reduce the number of unborn babies aborted each year. Others include the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law, and the parental notification law for minors considering abortion.

“Seeing abortion numbers fall is confirmation that MCCL’s efforts to educate and provide alternatives for women are working,” said director Scott Fischbach.  “However, recent pro-life losses suffered at the Capitol, and Planned Parenthood’s massive abortion center set to open, do not bode well for the unborn or their mothers going forward.”

With the help of pro-life citizens across the state, MCCL succeeded in gaining passage of five pro-life measures during the 2011 regular legislative session. All five were quickly vetoed by pro-abortion Gov. Mark Dayton, including the re-authorization of the state’s existing policy banning taxpayer funding of human cloning. Protective legislation was excluded from any final budget compromise in a deal struck by Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Koch and Speaker of the House Zellers.

Positive Alternatives was passed by the Legislature in 2005 and signed into law by pro-life Gov. Tim Pawlenty to establish a grant program through MDH. Grants are given to life-affirming organizations offering essential services to women; 31 organizations are currently participating in the Positive Alternatives grant program. The state health department shows more than 25,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program in its first four years (July 2006-June 2010).

“The fact that 11,505 pregnant women last year still believed that abortion was their only or best option underscores the enormous need for women to find alternatives to abortion,” Fischbach said. “Minnesota needs to continue to establish greater protections for unborn children and their mothers. The Department of Health statistics clearly show that help provided by Positive Alternatives and other legislative measures drive down abortion numbers as women find life-affirming alternatives.”

The Minnesota affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business says it will close six locations on August 1 thanks to the Title X budget cuts Congress approved in its most recent budget this past Spring. Minnesota Planned Parenthood CEO Sarah Stoesz says locations in Thief River Falls, Brainerd, Red Wing, Owatonna, Albert Lea and Fairmont will be closing. None of them do abortions or give out the dangerous abortion drug to women, but all of them make abortion referrals.

She said the plan to cut the centers comes on the heels of a 5.5 percent cut to Title X funding during the 2011 congressional budget debate. The cut is retroactive to September of last year, and therefore represents an 11 percent cut to Planned Parenthood’s current budget.