Although the number is still very troubling to pro-life advocates in the state, the number of Minnesota abortions has dropped to historic low levels and the figure is now at its lowest point since 1975.
Abortion numbers dropped for the fifth straight year in Minnesota, according to the latest annual report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health. The decrease of 3.7 percent follows a trend of fewer abortions statewide since the Positive Alternatives program began in July 2006, funding efforts to help pregnant women who may consider abortion.
Positive Alternatives is one of several pro-life legislative efforts by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life 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.
“These decreasing abortion numbers confirm that MCCL’s efforts to educate and to provide alternatives for women are working,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “However, recent pro-life losses suffered at the Capitol, and Planned Parenthood’s promotion of RU 486 webcam abortions, do not bode well for the unborn or their mothers.”
With the help of pro-life citizens across the state, MCCL succeeded in gaining passage of two pro-life measures during the 2012 legislative session. Both were quickly vetoed by pro-abortion Gov. Mark Dayton, including the ban on dangerous “webcam abortions” and a requirement that the state’s abortion facilities be licensed and allowed to be inspected.
The annual Abortion Report shows a total of 11,071 abortions were performed in the state in 2011, a reduction of 3.7 percent from the previous year’s 11,505 total. The 2010 total is the lowest number on record since 1975.
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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 the state health department. Grants are given to life-affirming programs offering essential services to women and 31 organizations are currently participating in the Positive Alternatives grant program. Health department show that more than 25,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program in its first four years (July 2006-June 2010). Fishbach said the fact that more than 11,000 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.
“Minnesota needs to continue to establish greater protections for unborn children and their mothers,” Fischbach said. “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.”