Minnesota abortions fell 2% in 2021, but likely to flip

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Abortions in Minnesota fell about 2% in 2021, but that decline is likely to quickly reverse in the state following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The high court’s action has made Minnesota an island for legal abortion in the Upper Midwest, and abortion providers say they are preparing for a sharp spike in women from nearby states seeking abortion services.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s annual report Friday, required by law, showed that about 90% of women receiving abortions in the state were Minnesotans. Of nearby states, Wisconsin had by far the most women crossing state lines to get an abortion in Minnesota, with about 6% of the total.

Patients from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Michigan accounted for about 4%. Abortion services have ended in South Dakota and Wisconsin, and North Dakota’s ban is expected to take effect in late July barring legal action.

More than half of the abortions were performed by medication rather than surgically.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota performed most of the state’s abortions in 2021 — about 70% — and Whole Women’s Health was next at about 10%.

About 5% of women undergoing abortion said they were doing it because their physical health was at stake or because pregnancy would impair major bodily function. Fifty-five patients, or about 0.5%, said they were victims of rape or incest.

Of patients who reported the timing of their abortion, almost 90% of abortions were done in the first trimester; only one abortion was done in the third trimester, according to the report.

The report also corrected its 2020 data to increase the number of abortions performed that year by 1,231. The Department of Health said those reports weren’t turned in by a reporting clinic because it was short-staffed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Trisha Ahmed is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Trisha Ahmed on Twitter.