Wednesday, July 1, 2009

News Release: Number of abortions in Minnesota down for second straight year

Positive Alternatives program is saving lives, empowering women to complete pregnancies

ST. PAUL — Abortion numbers fell for the second straight year in Minnesota following the launch of the Positive Alternatives grant program, according to the latest report on abortion issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) credits the grant program for reducing abortions since its inception.

"This report demonstrates that Positive Alternative is working for women and their unborn babies," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Along with the recent Gallup poll showing the majority of Americans now self-identify as pro-life, it is more evidence that women and society in general are turning away from abortion and embracing the life-affirming resources available for both mother and child."

The annual 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; abortions jumped by five percent in 2006 after four years of gradual declines. The full reports for 2008 and prior years are available at the MDH Web site.

Positive Alternatives was passed by the Legislature in 2005 to establish a grant program through the Minnesota Department of Health. Grants are given to life-affirming organizations offering essential services in the following areas: medical attention for the woman and the unborn child, nutritional services, housing assistance, adoption services, education and employment assistance, child care assistance, and parenting education and support services. A total of 37 organizations received $4.75 million in two-year grants in 2006. Another 31 organizations received $4.7 million in the second round of two-year grants awarded in July 2008. Positive Alternatives was fully funded by the 2009 Legislature.

A MDH report last year showed that more than 12,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program in its first two years (July 2006-June 2008). The fact that nearly 13,000 pregnant women last year still believed that abortion was their only option underscores the enormous need for women to find alternatives to abortion.

"It is crucial that every pregnant woman know that she does not need to have an abortion," Fischbach said. "No woman should ever feel forced into an abortion—not by a parent, boyfriend, abortionist or anyone else. Caring people and effective services are available to help women successfully face the challenges of unexpected pregnancy without resorting to abortion.

"We will help pregnant girls and women every step of the way," Fischbach added. "No one needs to believe that abortion is her only option."

MCCL is Minnesota’s oldest and largest pro-life organization with more than 70,000 member families and 240 chapters across the state. For more information about MCCL, visit

MCCL will issue a more in-depth news release later today.