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  • MCCL

Minnesota abortions drop in 2018 despite another Planned Parenthood increase

ST. PAUL — Abortions in Minnesota resumed a long-term decline in 2018 following a two-year increase, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The 2018 number of 9,910 marks a 2 percent decrease from the previous year and the third-lowest total since 1974. The latest report comes as a new lawsuit targets numerous abortion-related Minnesota laws.

"Pregnancy support, ultrasound images, public education, and Minnesota's pro-life laws continue to empower women and save unborn lives," says Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). "But most of our commonsense abortion-reducing laws would be eliminated if the current lawsuit is successful."

The number of abortions has fallen 48 percent since 1980 and 23 percent since 2008. The abortion rate dropped from 8.6 (abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age) in 2017 to an estimated 8.3 in 2018. But Planned Parenthood, which now performs a record-high 63 percent of all Minnesota abortions, increased its abortion total in 2018 to a record-high 6,292. Abortions at facilities other than Planned Parenthood declined by 7 percent compared to the previous year.

Planned Parenthood's abortion total has jumped 44 percent just since 2013. Meanwhile, according to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota's annual reports, the group's contraception services have dropped 83 percent since 2013. Its cancer screenings (mostly manual breast exams and pap tests) have fallen 56 percent.

"Planned Parenthood is in the business of ending human lives before they are born," says Fischbach. "That's what they do. They dominate the market and push their abortion numbers higher and higher."

The 2018 data show the benefits of Minnesota's existing pro-life laws. With the help of the state's 1981 parental notification law, abortions on minors plummeted from 2,327 in 1980 to 221 in 2018, the lowest number on record and just 2 percent of all abortions. And a total of 12,408 women received Woman's Right to Know informed consent information in 2018. That means nearly 2,500 women opted against abortion after receiving non-biased information about risks and alternatives.

Yet the report arrives in the wake of a lawsuit filed on May 29 that seeks to overturn virtually all abortion laws in Minnesota, including parental notification, Woman's Right to Know, and the 1998 abortion data reporting law that requires MDH to issue today’s report. If the lawsuit is successful, Minnesotans will have little idea about how abortion is practiced.

"This lawsuit would give the abortion industry free rein and wipe out even the most modest legal protections," says Fischbach. "Women, children, and the people of Minnesota deserve better."

  • Despite the overall abortion decline, late abortions increased in 2018. A total of 245 abortions took place at 20 weeks gestation or later (up from 225 in 2017). Four abortions took place in the third trimester; the latest was at 39 weeks (no abortions took place in the third trimester in 2017).

  • Abortions on women ages 35 and older increased 24 percent—from 1,539 in 2017 to 1,901 in 2018.

  • The suction abortion procedure accounted for 56 percent of all abortions (up from 53 percent). Chemical abortions accounted for 37 percent (down from nearly 40 percent). Dilation and evacuation (D & E) dismemberment procedures accounted for 7 percent (about the same as 2017).

  • Rape or incest was a reason given for less than one percent of abortions (consistent with past years). 73 percent of women cited "does not want children at this time" (compared to 71 percent in 2017). Only 20 percent cited "economic reasons" (down from 24 percent).

  • 40 percent of women had undergone one or more previous abortions (compared to 41 percent in 2017); a total of 758 women had undergone three or more previous abortions.

  • Complications: 77 complications were reported occurring at the time of the procedure, including cervical laceration, hemorrhage, and uterine perforation; 45 complications were reported occurring following the procedure, including 21 cases of "incomplete termination of pregnancy."

  • Three abortions resulting in a born-alive infant were reported; none of the infants survived.


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