11,505 total is lowest since 1975, but still troubling
ST. PAUL — Abortion numbers fell for the fourth straight year in Minnesota, according to the latest Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). 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.
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 MCCL Executive 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.
The annual Abortion Report shows a total of 11,505 abortions were performed in the state in 2010, more than seven percent fewer than the previous year’s 12,388 total. The 2010 total is the lowest number on record since 1975. Full reports for 2010 and prior years are available at the MDH website.
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. MDH reports show that 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.
“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.”