Tax-funded abortions in Minnesota hit all-time high

By MCCL–Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

ST. PAUL — Abortions funded by Minnesota taxpayers reached an all-time high in 2019, according to data just released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The 2019 total is a five percent increase over 2018 and a 32 percent jump since 2013. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) strongly backs current legislation to end this use of public money for abortion in Minnesota. 

“Overall abortions in Minnesota have been level, yet tax-funded abortions keep rising as Planned Parenthood and others exploit the availability of this money to bolster their abortion numbers and revenue,” says MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “Most people don’t support the use of their tax dollars for abortion. The destruction of unborn children isn’t a public good, and it’s not health care. Our lawmakers, governor, and courts must finally bring this harmful policy to an end.”

In 2019, according to the new report, the state reimbursed abortion practitioners $1.1 million for 4,463 abortions. Planned Parenthood, the state’s leading practitioner of abortion, grew its tax-funded abortion total for the eighth consecutive year—an astonishing 222 percent increase since 2011. In 2019, the group received a record-high $642,736 for a record-high 2,791 abortions. Whole Woman’s Health and the WE Health Clinic (formerly the Women’s Health Center in Duluth) also saw increases in 2019. 

Minnesota law prohibited public funding of elective abortions until a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision required such funding through Minnesota’s Medicaid program. Since then, taxpayers have bankrolled about 95,000 abortions at a cost of about $28 million. A large body of research, including a literature review by the abortion-industry-aligned Guttmacher Institute, shows that public funding of abortion leads to significantly more overall abortions than would otherwise take place.

MCCL backs a current bill to ban taxpayer funding of abortion in Minnesota. The measure, H.F. 1099 and S.F. 1045, is authored by Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake) and Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) and could, if signed into law and challenged in court, give the Court the opportunity to revisit and reverse its 1995 decision. The bill states that “funding for state-sponsored health programs shall not be used for funding abortions, except to the extent necessary for continued participation in a federal program.”

MCCL has frequently pursued similar bills. Such legislation passed through the Legislature in 2011 and 2017, but then-Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed both bills. 

“Low-income women deserve real support, not ‘free’ abortions that enrich Planned Parenthood at taxpayer expense,” says Fischbach. “Tax-funded abortion is bad for unborn children, whose lives are taken, but it also harms women and the taxpayers who are forced to be part of this.”

A 2021 Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortion.