PPFA’s Role Expands as Number of Abortions Declines in Minnesota

By Dave Andrusko

The great news out of Minnesota—that not only did abortions drop in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year to the lowest point since 1975, but also that the 7% drop from 2009 was the largest annual percentage decline in nearly 20 years—is a testimony to the patient, life-affirming work of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Like all of National Right to Life state affiliates, MCCL works in season and out, whether the results are immediately evident or only shown over time.

As MCCL has explained, there is a wealth of information contained in the 2010 Abortion Report issued Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We’ll start with the very positive news, never forgetting that amidst the welcomed decline in abortions, Planned Parenthood is performing more and more.

·         Amazingly, the abortion rate is about half the national abortion rate. The MDH reports that there were 10.1 abortions/1,000 females ages 15-44. The national average is 19.6/1,000, according to Guttmacher. (Lacking 2010 census data, the figure for Minnesota is based on 2009 population estimates.) That is the lowest rate of abortions since 1974.

·         There were 482 abortions performed on minor girls–a drop of 16.8%–the lowest number on record and just 4% of all abortions in the state. “Minor abortions peaked at 2,327 in 1980,” MCCL reported yesterday. “Minnesota’s effective 1981 parental notification law continues to bring together parents and their pregnant minor daughters to make life-affirming decisions.”

·         The local Minneapolis paper casually mentioned in its story, “Taxpayers paid for nearly 34 percent of all abortions in 2010, 2 percent more than before. The state has paid for abortions among low-income women since a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision. Republican lawmakers passed legislation forbidding state funding of abortions this session, but it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.” Self-funded abortions are at their lowest level since reporting began in 1998.

·         14,208 women received information about abortion risks, complications and alternatives under the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law. That is 2,703 more than the number who underwent abortions.

·         The disproportionate impact on the African American community was staggering. African Americans constitute 4% of population of Minnesota but received 23% of abortions!

·         Chemical abortions—the two drug RU486 combination—continued its steady increase to 20.7 % in 2010.

·         42% had at least one prior abortion.

What reasons did women give for their abortions? (They could give more than one.)

63% “does not want child at this time” 

32% cited economic reasons  

Less than 1% for rape, incest, or “impairment of major bodily function”

How role does PPFA play in all this?

From 2000 to 2010 total abortions dropped more than 22% in Minnesota. Over the same period Planned Parenthood increased its abortions by 64%! “Planned Parenthood now performs 35 percent of all abortions in the state—its highest percentage ever, “MCCL explained. “It was the only provider to perform more abortions in 2010 over the previous year.” Put another way, Planned Parenthood performed an average of more than 11 abortions every day in 2010.

“With very few exceptions, abortions performed on minors have been declining steadily since 1987,” according to MCCL. “In 2006, abortions on minors spiked 16% after Planned Parenthood opened two feeder clinics in Twin Cities suburbs and marketed its services to minors.”

MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach attributes the decline to pro-life laws.  “We can directly and empirically prove that when laws that protect life are put in place, the numbers of abortions come down,” he told Eric Roper of the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune. He specifically cited the Woman’s Right to Know Law and Positive Alternatives.

“The pregnancy is not typically the problem,” Fischbach said. “The problem is they don’t have the support that they need to welcome in life the baby.”

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