Abortions funded by Minnesota taxpayers in 2017 reached a record high for the third straight year, according to a report just released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Taxpayers reimbursed abortion practitioners $1.06 million for a total of 4,356 abortions. State-funded abortions have risen each of the last four years—a 28 percent jump since 2013.
“Minnesota’s policy of Medicaid-funded abortion props up the abortion industry and works to counteract the long-term trend of declining overall abortions,” says Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). “It allows Planned Parenthood to offer ‘free’ abortions to economically vulnerable women. Women, children, and taxpayers pay the price.”
Planned Parenthood, the state’s leading practitioner of abortion, can claim full credit for the increase in recent years. Since 2011, tax-funded abortions at abortion facilities other than Planned Parenthood have actually declined by 36 percent. In the same time period, tax-funded abortions at Planned Parenthood have shot upward by a startling 196 percent.
In 2017, Planned Parenthood took in a record-high $560,895 in taxpayer money by performing a record-high 2,560 tax-funded abortions—a record-high 59 percent of all tax-funded abortions in the state. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, a record-high 44 percent of total abortions occurring in Minnesota in 2017 were publicly funded.
Minnesota law prohibited public funding of elective abortions until a 1995 state Supreme Court decision (Doe v. Gomez) required such funding for pregnant women who receive state assistance. Tax-funded abortions have increased most years since then. A large body of research, including a literature review by the Guttmacher Institute (which is aligned with the abortion industry), has shown that the availability of public funding leads to more overall abortions than there would otherwise be.
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“This court-mandated abortion funding is financially and ideologically beneficial to Planned Parenthood,” notes Fischbach. “But it is harmful to everyone else. It’s harmful to the low-income women whose circumstances are exploited. It’s harmful to the helpless and vulnerable human beings whose deaths are bankrolled by the same government that is supposed to protect them. And it’s harmful to the Minnesota taxpayers who are forced to be part of it.”
Polling consistently finds that most Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. MCCL helped pass legislation to stop tax-funded abortion in 2011 and 2017, but both bills were vetoed by then-Gov. Mark Dayton.