Monday, July 2, 2012

Positive Alternatives drives down abortion numbers; abortions on minors down 7.8%

The following news release was issued today, July 2, 2012.

ST. PAUL — Pro-life efforts across Minnesota continue to drive down the number of abortions performed in the state, according to the 2011 Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Abortions have decreased 21 percent statewide since the Positive Alternatives program began funding efforts to help pregnant women in need. It is by far the biggest five-year drop since the state began recording abortion numbers in 1973.

"The numbers speak for themselves: Positive Alternatives is providing women with the resources and support they need to choose life for their unborn babies," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). "More women and teens are rejecting the abortion industry's message that abortion is the answer to an unexpected pregnancy."

Many of the 2011 statistics are encouraging. Abortions decreased 3.8 percent to 11,071; abortions performed on minors were down 7.8 percent to 445, representing just 4 percent of all abortions in the state. This is the smallest number since the state began recording minor abortions in 1975 and follows a general decline in numbers since 1987.

Fewer women experienced complications both during and after their abortion procedure. Instances of cervical laceration decreased, as did incomplete abortion and failed abortion, in which the unborn child survived the initial abortion attempt.

More than 13,000 women received factual, state provided information about abortion risks and complications, abortion alternatives and much more under the Woman's Right to Know law. MCCL helped to pass the informed consent law in 2003; state abortion numbers have decreased in all but one year since the law took effect.

Not all of today's report is good news, however. More than 41 percent of abortions in 2011 were performed on women who had undergone at least one prior abortion; 99 women had six or more previous abortions. The report shows that 63 percent of women who had abortions used the procedure as a backup method of birth control. These women reported that no contraception was used at the time of conception.

Tax-funded abortions increased to 34.2 percent of all abortions. This is the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court required taxpayers to pay for abortions performed on low-income women. This percentage has increased nearly every year since the court ruling.

The following is additional information concerning "Induced Abortions in Minnesota, 2011, Report to the Legislature," released July 2, 2012, by the Minnesota Department of Health:

The 2011 total of 11,071 reported abortions is the lowest recorded since 1975, and also the lowest abortion rate since 1974 (9.7 per 1,000 females age 15-44). 11,071 abortions equates to more than 30 abortions performed every single day last year

The total number of reported abortions performed in Minnesota since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand: 578,226

41.5% of women who received an abortion in 2011 had at least one prior abortion. A total of 796 women reported they had had 3 or more prior abortions

13,645 women received information about abortion risks, complications and alternatives under the Woman's Right to Know informed consent law, which is 2,574 more than the number who underwent abortions

Planned Parenthood performed an average of more than 9 abortions every day in 2011, for a total of 3,608. The provider performed 32.6% of all abortions, performing more than 1,300 more than the next largest provider. It has been the state's largest abortionist since 2004, and has increased its abortions by 47% since 2000


• 102 different people performed abortions in 2011
• 7 physicians each performed more than 500 abortions last year
• Minnesota's 7 abortion facilities performed 99% of all abortions in 2011
• 88 people performed abortions at the 7 abortion facilities, up from 54 in 2010

With few exceptions, abortions performed on minors have been declining annually 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

63% of abortions were used as back-up birth control (no contraception used at time of conception)

Race and abortion: African Americans—5% of population, 23% of abortions; Asians—4% of population, 7% of abortions; Caucasians—90% of population, 59% of abortions; Hispanics—5% of population, 6% of abortions, American Indians—1% of population, 3% of abortions. The abortion ratio (abortions per 100 live births) among American Indians rose dramatically from 20.6 in 2010 to 34.0 in 2011

Late-term abortions (after week 22) decreased from 12 to 3. The latest abortion was performed at 31 weeks (in 2010 the latest was at 28 weeks)

Suction was the most common form of abortion, used for 72% of abortions. RU486 chemical abortions were 19.7% of the total, down 1% from 2010. Seven instillation (saline) abortions were performed; induction of labor, as a form of abortion, decreased from 18 to 8. No intact D&X abortions were reported

Reasons women gave for their abortions (more than one reason could be given):

• Less than 1% for rape, incest, "impairment of major bodily function" (consistent with past years)
• 67% "does not want child at this time" (63% in 2010)
• 34% economic reasons (32% in 2010)

Complications: 107 reported, down from 164 in 2010

• 14 occurred during abortion procedure (6 cervical lacerations, 4 hemorrhage, 4 other)
• 93 occurred after abortion procedure (down from 142 in 2010)