Around MN: Statewide abortion rate drops

Abortions are on the decline in Minnesota. A report [PDF] released yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Health indicates that for the fourth year in a row the number of abortions performed with in the state have declined.

In 2010 there were 11,505 abortions performed. in 2009 there were 12,388. A relatively steady decline has been seen since 2006 when there were 14,065.

The Pioneer Press reported on reaction among groups taking part in the abortion policy debate:

“We think it’s really because of the access to affordable birth control,” said Tim Stanley, spokesman for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Planned Parenthood supports abortion rights and was the largest provider of abortions in the state last year. But the group also makes birth control available to patients, and the “cycles of contraceptives that we distributed have increased year over year for a half-dozen years,” Stanley said.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life attributed a significant part of the decline to state support for a program called Positive Alternatives that promotes alternatives to abortion such as adoption and support for mothers raising babies.

State figures show that more than 25,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program between July 2006 and June 2010, according to MCCL, which opposes abortion rights.

“This is the lowest abortion rate ever reported in Minnesota, so that’s a big deal,” said Scott Fischbach, executive director of MCCL.

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