Abortions in Minnesota experienced a significant increase of 20% in 2022, as revealed in a report released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
This sharp rise comes on the heels of new abortion laws passed by lawmakers during the 2023 session, removing restrictions on abortion throughout pregnancy and repealing long-standing abortion laws, including portions of the reporting law that governs the release of the MDH data.
Cathy Blaeser, co-executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), expressed concern over the situation.
“Many other states have reasonable protections for unborn children and their mothers. But not Minnesota,” Blaeser said. “Lawmakers here have enshrined abortion-up-to-birth and repealed common sense laws like informed consent for women and a program providing real alternatives to abortion for those in need.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 report revealed that the total number of abortions in 2022 reached 12,175, marking the highest figure since 2009 and defying a long-term downward trend observed between 1980 and 2015, where abortions dropped by 48 percent, MCCL said.
Notably, “independent physicians” saw the most substantial increase in abortions in 2022, which MCCL believes may be attributed to the rise of telemedicine abortions, allowing women to receive abortion pills via mail without in-person doctor’s visits.
Additionally, the number of abortions performed on non-Minnesota residents doubled from the previous year, with over 2,000 such cases. The estimated abortion rate among Minnesota residents also experienced an increase.
MCCL said in a press release that drug-induced abortions accounted for 61% of all abortions in 2022, consistent with the previous year. The report also indicated that 294 abortions were performed at or after 20 weeks gestation, reflecting a 33% increase from 2021. Furthermore, there were 831 dilation and evacuation abortions, marking a 36% increase.
Approximately 41% of abortions, including 48% of those performed on Minnesota residents, were funded by taxpayers, MCCL said.
Regarding the reasons cited for seeking an abortion, 60% of women mentioned not wanting children at that time, while 12% cited economic reasons. A small fraction of abortions, less than 1%, were reported as resulting from rape or incest, consistent with previous years.
The press release from MCCL stated that future MDH reports will no longer include comprehensive data, omitting crucial factors that influence women’s decisions to have abortions, as well as information about infants who survive abortions and what is done to care for those who survive.
According to the MDH report, there were no reported cases of born-alive infants in 2022, in contrast to the five reported cases in 2021. Last session, the legislature also repealed a requirement for doctors to “preserve the life and health of the born alive infant.”
Blaeser expressed concerns about the repercussions of these legislative actions.
“The actions of lawmakers figure to increase abortions even more, including late abortions, and to obscure some of this information from the public,” she said. “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.”