Saturday, July 20, 2013

MCCL to consult with U.N.

The following news release was issued July 19, 2013.

Following a year-long application process with tentative approval coming from the United Nations in New York in February, the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC), holding its high-level meeting this week in Geneva, granted the MCCL Education Fund final approval to hold consultative status with the U.N.

This accreditation will afford MCCL the opportunity to submit written and oral testimony on issues that come before the international body. It will also enable MCCL staff and representatives to attend U.N. meetings and conferences and consult with delegates and ambassadors about life issues.

"This is an exciting time for MCCL!" said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "To have our voice heard at an international level is a wonderful opportunity to share our 45 years of experience in building a life-affirming culture. In Minnesota today we have some of the lowest abortion rates ever recorded; that degree of success internationally would save millions of lives."

Article 71 of the U.N. Charter opened the door for suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is comprised of 19 Member States. Approximately 3,700 organizations have been granted consultative status.

Attaining NGO consultative status now comes at one of the most crucial times in the history of the fight to protect the right to life internationally. In the next 12 to 18 months major decisions will be made at the U.N. concerning future global development goals and the continued implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) documents.

NGO status has been a goal of the MCCL Global Outreach program, whose mission is very simply to save as many lives as possible, wherever they may be threatened around the world. The MCCL GO push for recognition of full human rights—beginning with the right to life itself—for all human beings is well grounded in U.N. documents such as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which states: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."

"MCCL looks forward to working with U.N. delegates and ambassadors toward fulfilling the human rights goals enshrined in U.N. documents, including the right to life," Fischbach added.

MCCL GO is a pro-life NGO global outreach program of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund with one goal: to save as many innocent lives as possible from the destruction of abortion. Learn more at www.mccl-go.org.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MCCL continues to push pro-life legislation, save lives

Much has been written lately about the flurry of pro-life legislation that states have been passing recently. It has led to many questions at the MCCL office from both our members and the media seeking to find out how Minnesota stacks up compared to other states.

Minnesota has a long history of being at the forefront of ground-breaking legislation. Our goal has never been "statement" legislation that sounds good but does little, but rather legislation that makes a difference and leads to saved lives.

Leader in model legislation

Minnesota's parental involvement law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and became model legislation for states around the country. It has been in place for more than 30 years, and has been a significant factor in Minnesota's low teen abortion rate.

More recently, Minnesota designed the Positive Alternatives grant program, which provides competitive grants to life-affirming programs that offer support and resources to pregnant and newly parenting mothers in need. At the time that Minnesota's legislation was written, only one other state had any kind of grant program dedicated to such programs.

MCCL's trailblazing efforts have continued in recent years.

Recent efforts

For example, when Minnesota began its attempt to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortion at the point that the unborn child feels pain (approximately 20 weeks after fertilization), only one state had so far passed similar legislation.

It is hoped that pain capable laws will lead to court challenges that undermine Roe v. Wade by effectively banning abortions at a certain point in the child's development, based on the humanity of the unborn child. While we were successful in passing the bill, it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Gov. Dayton impeding progress

Gov. Dayton has proven to be a difficult obstacle to overcome. So far, he has vetoed each of the following pro-life provisions:

  • Prohibition on taxpayer funded abortion;
  • Ban on human cloning;
  • Prohibition on taxpayer funded human cloning;
  • Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (prohibition on abortion at the point the unborn child feels pain);
  • Abortion facility licensing and inspection regulations; and
  • Ban on webcam abortions.

However, the fact that these provisions made it to Dayton's desk shows that MCCL and Minnesota's pro-life community continue to be effective in passing pro-life legislation.

Modest gains in difficult times

In fact, in the last two years, a string of pro-life initiatives have been quietly signed into law in Minnesota, albeit less headline grabbing and more modest than the initiatives that were vetoed. These changes may not be as glamorous as what other states are able to do right now (with a pro-life governor), but they are lifesaving changes that continue to make a difference in Minnesota.

These recent successes include:

  • Prohibition on requiring insurance companies to provide abortion coverage in MNsure, Minnesota's new health insurance exchange;
  • Repeal of the Family Cap, a provision that threatened increased poverty for women who found themselves pregnant while on welfare;
  • Update of Minnesota's Safe Place for Newborns / Give Life a Chance law. The changes allow for additional time to relinquish a newborn without penalty (from 3 to 7 days) and make it easier to relinquish the child by simply calling 911; and
  • Amending the Positive Alternatives Law to increase the number of programs eligible to apply for grants.

MCCL started out ahead of many other states

In addition to these recently achieved victories, Minnesota has a number of additional laws on the books and in force (many of the recently passed laws in other states are currently unenforceable as they have already been struck down in the courts or are currently being challenged). Minnesota's most significant pro-life protections include:

  • A ban on experimentation on a living human conceptus (145.421-145.422);
  • A requirement that only a physician may perform an abortion (145.412, Subd. 1);
  • A requirement that both parents of a minor girl be notified prior to an abortion (144.343);
  • "Baby Doe" protections that forbid withdrawal of medically indicated treatment from newborn babies with disabilities (260C.007);
  • A fetal homicide law that makes it a crime to kill or injure an unborn child other than in the commission of a legal abortion (609.266);
  • Woman's Right to Know, informed consent requirements for women considering abortion (145.4241-145.4249); and
  • Positive Alternatives grant program, providing grants to life-affirming programs that provide support and resources to pregnant women and new parents (145.4235).

Many states making headlines through passage of pro-life legislation are passing variants of these laws that Minnesota already has on the books and in effect. We continue to believe that these laws are significantly helping the downward trend in abortion that Minnesota has seen over the last several years. Minnesota currently has its lowest number of abortions, and lowest abortion rate, since 1975.

Our goal is to continue to work to advance protective pro-life initiatives that will decrease the number of abortions in Minnesota, while thoughtfully pushing the courts to recognize the humanity of the unborn child. This work has the dual objective of lowering the number of abortions and changing the hearts and minds of those who aren't yet pro-life.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Graphic: MN women are choosing life


Monday, July 8, 2013

Graphic: MN teens are choosing life


Monday, July 1, 2013

Women, pro-life efforts drive down abortion numbers; abortions on minors down 59% since 1998

State total drops to lowest in 37 years as more teens, women choose life

The following news release was issued today, July 1, as a follow-up to our earlier release.

ST. PAUL — Women continue to drive down the number of abortions performed in Minnesota, according to the 2012 Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Abortion numbers decreased 3.3 percent, the abortion rate fell to its lowest since 1974, and abortions performed on minors fell to the lowest number ever recorded.

"Women in Minnesota are seeking out—and finding—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 and its tired, worn-out message that abortion is the only answer to an unexpected pregnancy."

Many of the 2012 statistics are encouraging. Abortions have decreased nearly 23 percent statewide since the Positive Alternatives program began funding efforts to help pregnant women in need. It is by far the biggest six-year drop since the state began recording abortion numbers in 1973.

Abortions performed on minors were down 9.4 percent to 403, representing just 3.8 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.

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 40 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 also shows that African Americans remain a target of the abortion industry. They represent just 5 percent of the state's population, yet 23 percent of abortions were performed on African Americans.

RU486 chemical abortions spiked to 25 percent of the total, up from 19.7 percent the previous year. Planned Parenthood offered RU486 "webcam abortions" in 2012, allowing it to increase its abortion total while decreasing overhead.

Tax-funded abortions increased to 34 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. Taxpayers have funded 65,889 abortions since the decision.


The following is additional information concerning "Induced Abortions in Minnesota, 2012, Report to the Legislature," released July 1, 2013, by the Minnesota Department of Health:

The 2012 total of 10,701 reported abortions is the lowest recorded since 1975, and also the lowest abortion rate since 1974 (9.3 per 1,000 females age 15-44). 10,701 abortions equates to more than 29 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: 588,927

40.7% of women who received an abortion in 2012 had at least one prior abortion. A total of 746 women reported they had had 3 or more prior abortions

13,388 women received information about abortion risks, complications and alternatives under the Woman's Right to Know informed consent law, which is 2,687 more than the number who underwent abortions

More women experienced complications during their abortion procedure. Instances of cervical laceration more than doubled, and instances of heavy bleeding/hemorrhage increased by 50 percent

Planned Parenthood performed an average of more than 10 abortions every day in 2012, for a total of 3,919. The provider performed 36.6% of all abortions, performing more than 1,700 more than the next largest provider. It has been the state's largest abortionist since 2004, and increased its abortions by 8.6% last year even as the state total decreased

Abortionists:

• 103 different people performed abortions in 2012
• 8 physicians each performed more than 500 abortions last year
• Minnesota's 7 abortion facilities performed 98.6% of all abortions in 2011
• Women's Health Center (Duluth) performed 508 abortions, up 7.6 percent from 2011

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. Abortions performed on minors are down 83 percent from the peak of 2,327 in 1980

57% of abortions were used as 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—87% of population, 57% of abortions; Hispanics—5% of population, 6% of abortions, American Indians—1.3% of population, 2% of abortions.

Late-term abortions (after week 22) increased from 3 to 4. The latest abortion was performed at 28 weeks (in 2011 the latest was at 31 weeks)

Suction was the most common form of abortion, used for 65.9% of abortions. RU486 chemical abortions reached an all-time high of 25% of the total, up from 19.7% from 2011. Seven instillation (saline) abortions were performed; sharp curettage (D&C) decreased from 16 to 8. No intact D&X (partial-birth) abortions were reported

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

• Less than 1% for rape, incest (consistent with past years)
• 67% "does not want child at this time" (same as 2011)
• 27% economic reasons (34% in 2011)

Complications: 116 reported, up from 107 in 2011

• 22 occurred during abortion procedure (14 cervical laceration, 6 hemorrhage, 2 other)
• 94 occurred after abortion procedure (up from 93 in 2011)

2012 Minnesota Abortion Report shows more women turning away from abortion

10,701 total is lowest since 1975 as women find life-giving alternatives

The following news release was issued today, July 1, 2013.

ST. PAUL — Abortion numbers have dropped for the sixth straight year in Minnesota, according to the latest annual Abortion Report issued today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The decrease of 3.3 percent follows a trend of fewer abortions statewide since Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) helped to enact the Positive Alternatives law, which took effect in July 2006. But that is not the only reason for the decrease in abortions.

The downward trajectory reflects a profound shift occurring across the country: Americans are turning away from abortion as a solution to unexpected pregnancy. Technology such as ultrasound imaging and in utero surgery, as well as new scientific understanding of fetal development and the unborn child's ability to feel pain, are teaching people more than ever that abortion ends a human life, not just a pregnancy.

"We know so much more today about the facts of human life in the womb, and of the many ways that abortion hurts women," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Women are rejecting the abortion industry’s condescending argument that they must abort their unborn children in order to succeed in life."

Legislation has helped to empower women in their desire to give birth to their unborn babies. Positive Alternatives is one of several lifesaving legislative efforts by MCCL. It offers women life-affirming alternatives to abortion by funding programs that help women with health care, housing, education, transportation and much more. The state's Woman's Right to Know informed consent law and the parental notification law for minors considering abortion also serve to empower women with factual information and trustworthy support.

"Most women don't want to abort their unborn babies, and today's report is further evidence that the greater the access women are given to factual information and abortion alternatives, the fewer of them resort to abortion," Fischbach said. "MCCL has always been focused on empowering women to choose life and our efforts are clearly working."

The 2012 total of 10,701 abortions is a reduction of 3.3 percent from the previous year's 11,071 total. More than half were performed on women in their 20s. A total of 13,388 women received the Woman's Right to Know informed consent information, meaning 2,687 women chose not to abort after learning about fetal development, abortion risks and complications, and abortion alternatives. This is an increase over the previous year.

Today's report also shows that taxpayer funded abortions grew to 34 percent of all abortions reported in the state, the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez Supreme Court ruling requiring taxpayers to fund abortions.

Full reports for 2012 and prior years are available at the MDH website.