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Abortions increase in Minnesota as lawmakers enact extreme policies, obscure future information

by | Aug 17, 2023

By Paul Stark, Communications Director, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

ST. PAUL — Abortions in Minnesota rose 20 percent in 2022, according to a report released June 30 by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The sharp increase comes as state lawmakers have just enacted a sweeping no-limits-throughout-pregnancy abortion policy and repealed numerous longstanding abortions laws, including parts of the reporting law that provides the information released by MDH.

“Many other states have reasonable protections for unborn children and their mothers. But not Minnesota,” said MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “Lawmakers here have enshrined abortion-up-to-birth and repealed commonsense laws like informed consent for women and a program providing real alternatives to abortion for those in need. Women and children will pay the price for this extremism.”

The 2022 total of 12,175 abortions is the highest since 2009 and defies a long-term downward trend that saw abortions drop 48 percent from 1980 to 2015. Among abortion practitioners, “independent physicians” saw a large jump in 2022, likely reflecting the growth of telemedicine abortions sent to women through the mail without in-person doctor’s visits. More than 2,000 abortions were performed on non-Minnesota residents, which is about double the 2021 number. Yet the estimated abortion rate among Minnesota residents also rose—from 8.5 to 9.5.

Because of legislation enacted this year, future MDH reports will not include such comprehensive data, omitting the factors that lead women to have abortions as well as information about infants who survive abortion and measures taken to care for them (five born-alive infants were reported in 2021; none were reported in 2022). Lawmakers in 2023 also repealed Minnesota’s requirement that reasonable measures be taken to save the lives of born-alive infants.

“The actions of lawmakers figure to increase abortions even more, including late abortions, and to obscure some of this information from the public,” said Blaeser. “But Minnesotans don’t want our state to be a place of unlimited abortion, where babies and their mothers don’t get the protections, support, and love that they need. We must be better than this.”

According to the MDH report, chemical (drug-induced) abortions accounted for 61 percent of abortions in 2022, the same share as in 2021. A total of 294 abortions took place at 20 weeks or later (a 33 percent increase over 2021), and 831 dilation and evacuation (dismemberment) abortions occurred (a 36 percent increase). Taxpayers funded about 41 percent of abortions, including 48 percent of abortions performed on Minnesota residents.

With regard to reasons for abortion, 60 percent of women having abortions cited “does not want children at this time”; 12 percent cited economic reasons (women could give more than one response). Consistent with past years, well under 1 percent of abortions were the result of rape or incest.