Categories: Abortion Statistics

Abortion numbers in decline across Minnesota—except at Planned Parenthood

By Paul Stark

Editor’s note. Previously we ran an initial overview of the abortions statistics in Minnesota for 2015. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) explained, “Abortion numbers have dropped in eight of the last nine years in Minnesota to their lowest level since 1974, confirming the success of life-affirming laws that provide women with abortion information and alternatives and empower them to choose life for their unborn children—and themselves.”

In this follow up from MCCL, NRLC’s state affiliate looks behind the numbers.

ST. PAUL — Planned Parenthood continues to defy state and national trends of declining abortion numbers by managing to perform more abortions, year after year. As Minnesota’s largest abortionist, Planned Parenthood enlarged its market beyond 50 percent for the first time, despite a decrease in abortions statewide, according to the state’s annual Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Planned Parenthood increased its abortions by 28.5 percent from 2011 to 2015, and has more than doubled its abortion business since 2000. Beginning in 2007, state abortion totals declined each year except in 2014, when the number rose 2 percent. In contrast, Planned Parenthood’s annual abortion numbers were down from the previous year in only two of those nine years. Planned Parenthood’s 2015 total of 5,048 abortions was its highest number ever, and a record market share of 51.2 percent of all abortions performed in Minnesota.

Despite Planned Parenthood, many of the 2015 statistics are encouraging. Last year’s total of 9,861 abortions was the lowest since 1974. Just 246 abortions were performed on minors, accounting for 2.5 percent of the total. This is the smallest number since the state began recording minor abortions in 1975 and represents a decline of 89 percent from their peak in 1980, the year prior to passage of Minnesota’s Parental Notification law.

More than 11,600 women received factual, state provided information about abortion risks and complications, abortion alternatives and much more under the Woman’s Right to Know law. MCCL helped to pass the informed consent law in 2003; state abortion numbers have decreased in all but two years since the law took effect. MCCL also helped to enact the Positive Alternatives law, which took effect in July 2006.

Not all of today’s report is good news, however. Abortions were performed at a rate of more than 27 every single day last year. More than 40 percent of abortions in 2015 were performed on women who had undergone at least one prior abortion; 703 women had three or more previous abortions. The report also shows that African Americans remain a target of the abortion industry. They represent just 5.5 percent of the state’s population, yet 24 percent of abortions were performed on African Americans.

Tax-funded abortions increased from 38.1 to 43.3 percent of all abortions last year. This is the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court required taxpayers to pay for abortions performed on low-income women. This percentage has increased nearly every year since the court ruling. Taxpayers have funded 77,438 abortions since the decision.

Full reports for 2015 and prior years are available at the MDH website.

According to information released by the Minnesota Department of Health on July 1 in “Induced Abortions in Minnesota, 2015, Report to the Legislature”

The 2015 total of 9,861 reported abortions is the lowest recorded since 1974, and also the lowest abortion rate since 1973 (8.4 per 1,000 females age 15-44)

The total number of reported abortions performed in Minnesota since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand: 618,814

40.1% of women who received an abortion in 2015 had at least one prior abortion. A total of 703 women reported they had had 3 or more prior abortions; 88 women had had 6 or more previous abortions

11,605 women received information about abortion risks, complications and alternatives under the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law, which is 1,692 more than the number who underwent abortions


· 99 different people performed abortions in 2015, a decrease of 30 over the prior year

· 13 physicians each performed more than 300 abortions last year

· Minnesota’s 5 abortion facilities (6 locations) performed 99% of all abortions in 2015

With few exceptions, abortions performed on minors have been declining annually since 1987. In 2006, abortions on minors spiked 16% after Planned Parenthood opened two feeder clinics in Twin Cities suburbs and heavily marketed its services to minors. Abortions performed on minors are down 89 percent from their peak of 2,327 in 1980

65% of abortions were used as the soul method of birth control (no contraception used at time of conception), up from 61% in 2014

Race and abortion: African Americans—5.5% of population, 24% of abortions; Asians—4% of population, 8% of abortions; Caucasians—86% of population, 54% of abortions; Hispanics—5% of population, 6% of abortions, American Indians—1.3% of population, 2.4% of abortions

Late-term abortions (after week 20) increased from 97 to 122. The latest abortion was performed at 29 weeks (in 2014 the latest was at 27 weeks)

Suction was the most common form of abortion, used for 60% of abortions. RU486 chemical abortions reached an all-time high of 32% of the total, up from 28% in 2014. Seven instillation (saline) abortions were performed. Dismemberment abortions, including dilation & evacuation (D&E) and sharp curettage (D&C), increased 13% from 714 to 823. No intact D&X (partial-birth) abortions were reported

Reasons women gave for their abortions (more than one reason could be given):

· Less than 1% for rape, incest (consistent with past years)

· 70% “does not want child at this time” (69% in 2014)

· 26% economic reasons (27% in 2014)

Complications: 92 reported, up from 82 in 2014

· 15 occurred during abortion procedure (4 cervical laceration, 3 hemorrhage, 1 uterine perforation, 7 other)

· 77 occurred after abortion procedure (including 44 incomplete abortions, often associated with RU486 chemical abortions)

Paul Stark is MCCL’s Associate Communications Director. This appeared at

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