Abortion numbers continue to decline in Minnesota, most other states

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A new summary of the number of abortions performed in each state in the U.S. shows fewer women chose the procedure to end their pregnancies in 2013, continuing a downward trend that began several years ago.

The Associated Press compiled the latest numbers on abortions performed in the 45 states that collect such data regularly. Most of the numbers the AP collected are from 2013 or 2014, and are compared to rates in 2010, the year before legislatures in many states began passing laws designed to restrict access to abortion.

In Minnesota, doctors performed 9,903 abortions in 2013, which is nearly 14 percent fewer abortions than in 2010, according to the Associated Press. It's also lower than 2012, when the state saw 10,701 abortions performed, the most recent figures reported by the  Minnesota Department of Health.

A couple of other numbers from the Health Department's report:

  • Of the 9,903 women who had an abortion in 2013, more than three-quarters of them (76.5 percent) were age 20-34. Only 10 percent were younger than age 20.
  • All those procedures were performed at 20 weeks of gestation or earlier, except for 91 which occurred between 21-24 weeks. That's significant because abortion opponents in some states are pushing to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
  • The number of abortions has declined significantly in Minnesota over the past two decades; the highest number of 19,028 was recorded in 1980, according to the health department's statistics.

Neither the health department nor the Associated Press tackled the question of why the number of abortions continues to decline. Experts at the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights, suggest new kinds of birth control that last longer and have low error rates are playing a role, the Washington Post reports.

The institute said the wave of abortion restrictions passed since 2011 will likely have an impact on the abortion rate within the next few years, the Post notes.

Here are the statistics for neighboring states to Minnesota, as compiled by the Associated Press.

Iowa

2010: 5,399

2013: 4,423

Change: Down 18.1 percent

North Dakota

2010: 1,291

2013: 1,182

Change: Down 8.4 percent

South Dakota

2010: 737

2013: 601

Change: Down 18.5 percent

Wisconsin

2010: 7,825

2013: 6,462

Change: Down 17.4 percent

You can see numbers for the rest of the states here.

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