Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Abortions drop six percent as women embrace Positive Alternatives

Sharp decline indicates women finding help they need to choose life

ST. PAUL — Deaths from abortion decreased 6.5 percent in Minnesota last year, according to a state report released today. The dramatic drop—895 fewer babies were killed than in 2007—demonstrates the success of the Positive Alternatives program in empowering pregnant women.

The 2008 Abortion Report shows a total of 12,948 abortions were performed in the state in 2008, compared to 13,843 the previous year. The 2008 total is the lowest number on record since 1975 and is also the lowest abortion rate (11.2 per 1,000 females age 15-44) since 1975.

"We are very pleased to see that the Positive Alternatives program is helping more and more women to reject abortion, and decreasing the number of babies aborted in our state," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "The program’s simple, effective approach is to provide real help to women considering abortion, so that they know they have life-affirming options. We want every pregnant woman to know that we will help them every step of the way, and that no one should ever force them to have an abortion."

The 645 abortions performed on minor girls last year was a decrease of 11 percent and represented less than 5 percent of all abortions. This is the lowest number of abortions on minors ever recorded in Minnesota. Abortions also fell in every racial category. Abortions declined every month compared to the prior year.

Even though the number of abortions was the lowest in 33 years, Planned Parenthood managed to increase its abortions last year to a record 3,948. Planned Parenthood performed nearly 1,200 more abortions than the next largest provider. It now performs 30 percent of all abortions in the state—its highest percentage ever.

"Planned Parenthood will try to take credit for the drop in abortions, but its growth curve reveals the organization’s true intent," Fischbach said. "Through its aggressive marketing of abortion to teenagers, minorities and low-income women, Planned Parenthood has achieved its business goal of performing more abortions than ever."

Other increases in 2008: Chemical abortions using the dangerous and sometimes lethal RU486 drug rose to 17 percent of all abortions; taxpayer-funded abortions rose to 29.8 percent of all abortions; and the number of post-abortion complications increased from 99 to 132, including a 38 percent increase in incomplete abortions.

The total number of reported abortions performed in Minnesota since 1973 is 543,262.

The following points are additional information concerning "Induced Abortions in Minnesota, 2008, Report to the Legislature," released July 1, 2009, by the Minnesota Department of Health:

The 6.5% decline in abortions was the third largest annual percentage drop since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand. Abortions dropped 7.7% in 1993; abortions dropped 7.5% in 1983

40% of women who received an abortion in 2008 had at least one prior abortion. A total of 923 women reported they had had 3 or more prior abortions

5 women who sought abortion services opted instead for perinatal hospice because they were informed of the option through the Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law. Perinatal hospice is a life-affirming program for women facing devastating diagnoses of fetal anomalies

28.9% of all abortions were taxpayer funded in 2008—this is the highest percentage since the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision required taxpayers to pay for elective abortions. Self-funded abortions are at their lowest level since state abortion reporting began in 1998

Planned Parenthood performed an average of more than 10 abortions every day in 2008, for a total of 3,948. The provider increased its abortions by 1% while total abortions decreased 6.5%

Planned Parenthood now performs 30% of abortions in Minnesota, its largest percentage since abortion reporting began in 1998. It has been the largest provider since 2004

  • 103 different people performed abortions in 2008, a significant increase from the previous record of 89 in 2006
  • 8 physicians each performed more than 600 abortions last year
  • Minnesota’s seven abortion clinics performed more than 99% of all abortions in 2008
Abortions performed on minors (under age 18) declined 11% to 645 from 724 in 2007. With very few exceptions, abortions performed on minors have been declining steadily since 1987. In 2006, abortions on minors spiked 16% after Planned Parenthood opened two feeder clinics in Twin Cities suburbs and marketed its services to minors

Race and abortion: African Americans—4% of population, 23% of abortions; Asians—3% of population, 7% of abortions; Caucasians—90% of population, 61% of abortions; Hispanics—3% of population, 6% of abortions

Chemical abortions (RU486) accounted for 17% of the 2008 total, up from 13% in 2007

Rape, incest or "continued pregnancy will cause impairment of major bodily function" combined represented less than 1% of all abortions in 2008.

Reasons women gave for their abortions (more than one reason could be given):
  • Less than 1% for rape, incest, "impairment of major bodily function"
  • 72% “does not want child at this time”
  • 33% economic reasons (down 4% from 2007)
  • 20 occurred during abortion procedure (6 cervical lacerations, 8 hemorrhage, 6 other)
  • 132 occurred after abortion procedure (up from 99), due to increase in "incomplete termination of pregnancy (retained products of conception requiring re-evacuation)"; these incomplete abortions rose from 47 to 65
MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization. For more information about MCCL and abortion, visit