Minnesota abortions lowest since 1975
The Minnesota Department of Health just announced the state’s 2010 abortion statistics. Abortions dropped 7% from 2009. This is the fourth straight year of decline, and the lowest number of abortions since the mid-1970s!
The decline is unusual, because the state’s population has grown considerably since 1975. In addition, we would expect the number of abortions to increase dramatically during an economic downturn, since most abortions are done for socioeconomic reasons.
Thanks to the efforts of pro-life Minnesotans, this did not happen. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) credits several factors. First among these is the Positive Alternatives program, legistated in 2006, which provides grants to pregnancy support organizations. Positive Alternatives has served over 25,000 women. Other pro-life victories that likely played a role in the decline are the Women’s Right to Know law, which requires abortion centers to tell patients the truth about fetal development, and the requirement of parental notification for minors seeking abortions.
While this news is encouraging, pro-life advocates will not rest until abortions are down to zero:
“The fact that 11,505 pregnant women last year still believed that abortion was their only or best option underscores the enormous need for women to find alternatives to abortion,” [MCCL director Scott] Fischbach said. “Minnesota needs to continue to establish greater protections for unborn children and their mothers. The Department of Health statistics clearly show that help provided by Positive Alternatives and other legislative measures drive down abortion numbers as women find life-affirming alternatives.”
Of course, just as pro-lifers attribute the drop to CPCs, Planned Parenthood will cite birth control access and sex ed. Everyone will want to run off with the credit.
What stands clear is the positive correlation between poverty and abortion; the rates of both go up together and go down together. (The extremely poverty-stricken Washington D.C. has a 50% abortion rate).
I'm not a Minnesotan, and maybe someone from that state would like to chime in here. But I understand that the state has a number of innovative social programs that directly address the needs of women who would otherwise get abortions. Here's an example: http://evidencebasedprograms.org/wordpress/?page_id=146
Good points, anonymous. I'm not from Minnesota either, but I have no doubt that social programs– like Positive Alternatives, and like the welfare program you mentioned– are a major factor.
Secular Pro-Life supports sex ed, but it doesn't appear to be at work in this instance. According to Teenwise Minnesota, condom usage among teenagers *decreased* between 2007 and 2010, the same time frame in which abortions have been decreasing. http://www.moappp.org/Documents/2011AdoHealthReport.pdf
Is there any evidence that the decline in abortions in Minnesota is any greater than anywhere else in the United States?