Monday, July 2, 2012

Abortions drop again in Minnesota

The following was released today, July 2.

ST. PAUL — Abortion numbers dropped for the fifth straight year in Minnesota, according to the latest annual Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The decrease of 3.7 percent follows a trend of fewer abortions statewide since the Positive Alternatives program began in July 2006, funding efforts to help pregnant women in need.

Positive Alternatives is one of several pro-life legislative efforts by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) to offer women life-affirming alternatives to abortion and to significantly reduce the number of unborn babies aborted each year. Others include the Woman's Right to Know informed consent law, and the parental notification law for minors considering abortion.

"These decreasing abortion numbers confirm that MCCL's efforts to educate and to provide alternatives for women are working," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "However, recent pro-life losses suffered at the Capitol, and Planned Parenthood's promotion of RU486 webcam abortions, do not bode well for the unborn or their mothers."

With the help of pro-life citizens across the state, MCCL succeeded in gaining passage of two pro-life measures during the 2012 legislative session. Both were quickly vetoed by pro-abortion Gov. Mark Dayton, including the ban on dangerous "webcam abortions" and a requirement that the state's abortion facilities be licensed and allowed to be inspected.

The annual Abortion Report shows a total of 11,071 abortions were performed in the state in 2011, a reduction of 3.7 percent from the previous year's 11,505 total. The 2010 total is the lowest number on record since 1975. Full reports for 2011 and prior years are available at the MDH website. These numbers represent the cost of the actual abortion procedure. However, there are other costs associated with an abortion, including charges for STD testing, ultrasound, exams, medications and intake interviews.

Positive Alternatives was passed by the Legislature in 2005 and signed into law by pro-life Gov. Tim Pawlenty to establish a grant program through MDH. Grants are given to life-affirming programs offering essential services to women; 31 organizations are currently participating in the Positive Alternatives grant program. MDH reports show that more than 25,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program in its first four years (July 2006-June 2010). The fact that more than 11,000 pregnant women last year still believed that abortion was their only or best option underscores the enormous need for women to find alternatives to abortion.

"Minnesota needs to continue to establish greater protections for unborn children and their mothers," Fischbach said. "The Department of Health statistics clearly show that help provided by Positive Alternatives and other legislative measures drive down abortion numbers as women find life-affirming alternatives."

— MCCL will release a further analysis of the MDH Abortion Report later today. —