Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parental Notification law reduces teen abortions in Minnesota

The following news release was issued on June 24, 2015.

MINNEAPOLIS — Teen abortions in Minnesota have declined dramatically since the state enacted a law requiring parental notification before minors undergo abortions. Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Minnesota's parental notification requirement.

The law (MN Statute 144.343), strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), was passed by the Legislature with large bipartisan majorities in 1981. It requires that both parents be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor girl. The measure includes a judicial bypass procedure, which is required by the courts, and exceptions for rare cases.

Minnesota's law was in place until 1986, when it was enjoined by a federal district court. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled on June 25, 1990, in the case of Hodgson v. Minnesota, upholding both the two-parent and 48-hour requirements. The law went back into effect that year.

"Our Minnesota law and the Supreme Court decision affirming it helped open the floodgates for more state parental involvement laws," commented MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Strong evidence shows that these laws in 38 states, among other factors, reduce the incidence of teen abortions."

The annual number of minor abortions in Minnesota peaked at 2,327 in 1980, the year before the parental notification law first went into effect. Teen abortions then began to steadily decline. Since 1989, the last full year before the Supreme Court ruling, abortions performed on minors have dropped 79 percent. In 2013 (the latest year for which data is available), minor abortions fell to 295, the lowest number on record (statistics for minors go back to 1975) and only 3 percent of all abortions.

Despite broad public support for parental involvement laws, they are opposed by abortion advocacy groups. Planned Parenthood has fought against parents who want to be informed before an abortion is performed on their minor daughter at an unlicensed facility. Planned Parenthood has also fought against state oversight of abortion centers, which remain unlicensed and uninspected in Minnesota.

"Parental involvement laws don't just save unborn lives from abortion," noted Fischbach. "They reflect the commonsense principle that parents are responsible for their kids and that kids need their parents. To exclude parents, especially at a time of crisis, would be a tremendous disservice to children. Yet that is precisely what Planned Parenthood wants to do."

Monday, June 15, 2015

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day calls for end of neglect, mistreatment of older persons

The following news release was issued on June 15, 2015.

Today marks the 10th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which has been observed globally since 2006. This year's event will continue to raise awareness of the exploitation of seniors and the need for better understanding and protection.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) urges communities and nations to provide safety and care to their older citizens. Hundreds of thousands of elders are abused, neglected and exploited each year, yet few of these incidents are ever reported. In the United States alone, older persons lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation—funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care. Such abuse leaves elders even more vulnerable.

"Countless senior citizens across the world lack proper medical care when they become sick, and many die when care is either unavailable or withheld from them," said MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "These vulnerable persons need care and protection, not hastened death."

On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, MCCL GO encourages nations to prioritize access to medical care for elders. Seniors worldwide who suffer from serious illness are subjected to pressure to end their lives prematurely, whether by assisted suicide, euthanasia or the withholding of medical treatment against the patient's wishes. MCCL GO has just released a brochure about the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and on patients’ rights to health and the alleviation of suffering. It is available at the MCCL GO website.

"Euthanasia and assisted suicide violate the right to life," Fischbach said. "All patients have a right to health and deserve care rather than killing. We encourage everyone to share the vital information in our brochure."

On Oct. 1, the world will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons, which will focus on Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment. The world's elder population continues to grow, and with it opportunities for both exploitation and protection.

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. Learn more at