Abortions funded by Minnesota taxpayers in 2018 dropped 2 percent to 4,256 after rising each of the previous four years, according to a report just released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Planned Parenthood, the state’s leading practitioner of abortion, increased its state-funded abortion total to a record-high 2,723.
“Government reimbursement allows Planned Parenthood to bolster its abortion numbers with the offer of ‘free’ abortions to economically vulnerable women,” says MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “This is an injustice to the helpless human beings whose deaths are bankrolled by the same government that is supposed to protect them. It’s an injustice to the women who aren’t given the help they actually need. And it’s an injustice to the Minnesota taxpayers who are forced to be part of it.”
Planned Parenthood has increasingly cornered the abortion market in Minnesota—and has capitalized on the availability of state funding. The group’s tax-funded abortion total has skyrocketed 214 percent since 2011 even as tax-funded abortions at facilities other than Planned Parenthood have dropped 46 percent over the same period. Planned Parenthood now performs a record-high 64 percent of all such abortions.
Minnesota law prohibited public funding of elective abortions until a 1995 state Supreme Court decision (Doe v. Gomez) required Medicaid funding of abortion for pregnant women who receive state assistance. Tax-funded abortions have trended upward ever since. 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 otherwise would take place.
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The 2018 tax-funded abortion total is the third highest ever and a 26 percent jump since 2013. Taxpayers reimbursed abortion practitioners $1.03 million for abortions in 2018 (down from $1.06 million in 2017); Planned Parenthood accounted for a record-high $614,445. Since the 1995 ruling, taxpayers have spent more than $26 million on more than 90,000 abortion procedures.
“The people of Minnesota never agreed to pay for abortion. No governor or legislature ever made that decision. The Court imposed abortion funding on the basis of an erroneous and implausible reading the Minnesota Constitution,” says Fischbach. “Minnesota should be better than this. Killing unborn children isn’t a public good deserving of public support.”
MCCL has frequently worked to pass legislation that could give the Court an opportunity to revisit and reverse its 1995 decision. A bill to ban taxpayer funding of abortion passed through the Legislature in 2011 and 2017, but it was vetoed both times by then-Gov. Mark Dayton. A similar MCCL-backed bill has been introduced this year (H.F. 4404 / H.F. 4403 and S.F. 4271).