Yesterday’s release of the 2010 abortion report by the Minnesota Department of Health contained both good news and bad news.
First, the good news:
From 2009 to 2010, there was a 7.1 percent drop in the number of abortions performed in our state, from 12,388 to 11,505 — the biggest one-year decline since 1993, according to Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
The 2010 number is the lowest yearly number of abortions since 1975 and the lowest rate of abortion — 10.1 per 1,000 females ages 15-44 — ever reported.
Furthermore, abortions performed on minors fell 16.8 percent to 482, the lowest number since 1975, when statistics for minors were begun, according to MCCL. Minor abortions peaked in 1980 at 2,327 and have been pretty much in steady decline since then.
What accounts for this decline? Regarding abortions performed on minors, MCCL credits Minnesota’s 1981 parental notification law, which requires that both parents be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on their child (although the law includes a judicial bypass option).
More broadly, MCCL credits the state’s Woman’s Right to Know law, signed in 2003, which provides mothers with medically accurate information about fetal development, abortion procedures and alternatives to abortion. MCCL also points to the 2005 Positive Alternatives law that provides resources and support to pregnant women in need.
In addition to such laws, education is also crucial, and MCCL as well as other groups — including local parishes — remain important sources of information and support for building the culture of life.
So what’s the bad news regarding the 2010 report?
Planned Parenthood performed more abortions than ever in 2010, even in light of the 7 percent decrease. PP now performs 35 percent of all abortions in the state — its highest percentage ever, according to MCCL.
Fischbach noted in a press release:
“Planned Parenthood officials need to stop claiming they want to reduce abortions in Minnesota, because the statistics don’t lie. With its massive new abortion clinic under construction in St. Paul, which will be the nation’s third largest, Planned Parenthood is poised to further expand its already bloated business of killing the unborn in record numbers.”
Also, chemical abortions rose to 20.7 percent of all abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions climbed to 33.8 percent of all abortions — the highest number since the state Supreme Court cleared the way for such funding in 1995. Complications as the result of an abortion — such as a perforated uterus or incomplete abortion — rose from 88 in 2009 to 164 in 2010.
Despite some of the good news, it’s obvious there is plenty of work that still needs to be done by the pro-life community to change hearts and minds on the issue of abortion.