Abortion by the numbers in Minnesota

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For decades, the Minnesota Department of Health has tracked the numbers on women who get abortions — from their ages, to their state of residency, to their reasons. 

According to MDH, there were 10,136 abortions performed in Minnesota in 2021.  That number has decreased steadily over the past 20 years.  Back in 1980, MDH data shows that number was nearly double: 19,028 abortions were performed that year.

Of the abortions performed in Minnesota in 2021, 9,127 were Minnesota residents and about 1,000 were out-of-state residents, with 634 women coming across state lines from Wisconsin.

Examining the ages of each patient: the largest number of abortions, 2,802, were performed on women between the ages of 25-29.  388 women were over the age of 40 and 29 patients were under age 15.

MDH also tracks the clinical estimate of the fetal gestational age.  Most abortions in 2021 were performed within the first trimester — 6,975 of them were performed at less than nine weeks.  There was one abortion performed at the 25-30 week mark, and none were reported after 31 weeks.  The gestational age was not reported in 118 cases.

Finally, MDH captured the various reasons women got abortions in Minnesota in 2021 based on a questionnaire given to each patient. The reasons range from rape and incest to health complications.  The most common reason: 5,499 women reported they didn’t want children at the time.  The second most common reason: 1,346 women reported they had economic concerns. 3,579 women did not give a reason.