Abortions at record low in MN thanks to health care access, contraceptive mandate, NARAL says

Planned Parenthood performed 4,370 abortions in Minnesota last year, the most of any organization.
Planned Parenthood performed 4,370 abortions in Minnesota last year, the most of any organization.
Photos via Fibonacci Blue and S. MiRK

The number of abortions performed in Minnesota last year was the lowest since the state began collecting data on the procedures in 1975.

There were 9,903 abortions performed in the state in 2013. That's down from 10,700 in 2012 and represents the first time on record the number has fallen below 10,000.

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To give you some context, the year with the most abortions was 1980, when there were 19,028 performed in Minnesota. Abortion numbers have fallen for 11 of the past 12 years. 

Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, attributes last year's drop to more women using long-term contraception as a result of having access to health care that covers it. (The federal government's so-called "contraceptive mandate" went into effect in August 2012.)

"One of the things we're seeing is there's been an increase in people getting access to long-term contraception -- IUDs, patches, those types of things -- and you're going to see unintended pregnancy rates decline as a result," House tells us. "The other is that pharmaceutical companies are creating better and longer-lasting affordable contraceptives that are accessible and have no negative effects on women. That's good for public health."

But the news about declining abortions rates is somewhat bittersweet in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, House says.

"There are a whole host of corporations behind Hobby Lobby that want to apply for the same exemptions," House says. "We don't know what the implications are going to be other than a whole subset of people who are paying for insurance won't have access to the contraception they want."

Still, the historic decrease in abortions is good news for everybody involved.

The lesson, House says, is that "people who have good consistent health care coverage have better health care outcomes."

Click to page two to read the MDH's full 2014 abortion report:


2014 MDH Abortion

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

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