The number of abortions performed in Minnesota in 2018 declined by 2 percent to 9,910 from 10,134 the year before, according to an annual report on abortions released June 30 by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Although the number of abortions had increased in 2017 from 9,953 in 2016, the long-term trend has been positive, with pregnancy support, ultrasound images, public education and Minnesota’s pro-life laws helping reduce the number of abortions by 48 percent since 1980 and 23 percent since 2008, said Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. 

But a lawsuit challenging several of the state’s health and safety measures threatens that kind of progress, MCCL officials said. 

Filed May 29 in Ramsey County District Court by St. Paul-based Gender Justice and New York-based Lawyering Project, the lawsuit seeks to strike down the state’s requirements of a 24-hour reporting period before obtaining an abortion and two-parent notification for patients under 18 and its prohibiting non-physicians from performing abortions. It also seeks to end the 1998 abortion data collecting law that requires the detailed report released June 30 by the health department, MCCL officials said.

“Most of our commonsense abortion-reducing laws would be eliminated if the current lawsuit is successful,” and Minnesotans would have little idea how abortion is practiced in the state, said Scott Fischbach, MCCL’s executive director said in a July 1 statement. 

In addition, Planned Parenthood, which now performs 63 percent of all Minnesota abortions, increased its abortion total in 2018 to a record-high 6,292. At the same time, abortions at facilities other than Planned Parenthood declined by 7 percent compared with 2017, MCCL said.

“Planned Parenthood is in the business of ending human lives before they are born,” Fischbach said. “That’s what they do. They dominate the market and push their abortion numbers higher and higher.”