ST. PAUL — Abortion numbers in Minnesota rose to 9,953 last year after having fallen in 2015 to their lowest level since 1974, according to the state's 2016 Abortion Report. The abortion rate rose to 8.6 percent last year. Nearly the same number of women had abortions last year as did in 2015, according to the latest annual Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The 2016 increase of less than one percent follows a general trend of fewer abortions statewide since Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) helped to enact an informed consent law in 2003, and the Positive Alternatives law, which took effect in July 2006. But the 28 percent decrease in abortions over the past decade has been problematic for most of the state's abortion industry. Planned Parenthood has managed to increase its market share by increasing its abortions in most of the last 10 years, while other facilities have seen sharp decreases in overall numbers. "Minnesota's five abortion centers have worked hard to reverse the national trend of fewer and fewer abortions," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Women are turning away from abortion and from the state's unlicensed abortion facilities, and that puts pressure on their bottom line." While the number of abortions has decreased overall in recent years, the percentage of taxpayer funded abortions has continued to rise. Taxpayers now pay for 43 percent of all Minnesota abortions, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. State legislators have pressed for basic state oversight of the five remaining abortion facilities. Bills to license and inspect abortion facilities have been introduced in each of the past seven years, gaining legislative approval again this year. The abortion industry has fervently opposed any licensing or inspection requirements, and Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed licensing legislation approved by the Legislature in 2011 and 2017. "There is no good reason for abortion providers to oppose being held to basic industry standards," Fischbach said. "Their primary concern ought to be for their clients' health and safety, which would only be enhanced by state licensing and inspection." The 2016 report shows a total of 9,953 abortions, compared to the previous year's 9,861 total. More than half were performed on women in their 20s. A total of 11,585 women received the Woman's Right to Know informed consent information, meaning up to 1,632 women chose not to abort after learning about fetal development, abortion risks and complications, and abortion alternatives. Full reports for 2016 and prior years are available at the MDH website.
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