Issues

Minnesota report: Few abortions done for rape, incest, or life of the mother

pregnancy centers, ministers

Minnesota has released its report on abortion in the state in 2020 and 2021. The report points out reasons why women had abortions. In 2021, by far the most common reason given was that the woman “[did] not want children at this time.” Eighty-four percent of women who responded gave this reason for their abortions.

According to a poll from January 2022 summarized by Live Action News, “54% of voters polled said abortion should be illegal at all or most of the time, and 43% percent said it should be illegal except in cases of rape.” Less than 1% of Minnesota abortions in 2021 and 2020 were committed because the mother was a victim of  rape or incest, and no abortions were reported either year to save the life of the mother.

Here is the breakdown of Minnesota’s other statistics. The numbers don’t add up to 100% because some women gave more than one reason. Of the 65% polled who answered the question:

  • 84% of abortions were committed because the woman “does not want children at this time”
  • 20% of abortions were committed due to economic reasons
  • 14.5% of abortions were committed due to the woman’s emotional health
  • 8% of abortions were committed due to the woman’s physical health
  • 2% of abortions were committed because the baby was disabled
  • 0.6% of abortions were committed due to rape
  • 0.4% of abortions were committed because “Continued pregnancy will cause impairment of major bodily function”
  • 0.1% of abortions were committed due to incest

There is no indication of the type of “physical health” concern or how serious it was.

In 2020, as in 2021, the most common reason given for an abortion was that the woman “[did] not want children at this time.”

  • 82% of abortions were committed because the woman “does not want children at this time”
  • 26% of abortions were committed due to economic reasons
  • 15% of abortions were committed due to the woman’s emotional health
  • 8.8% of abortions were committed due to the woman’s physical health
  • 2.7% of abortions were committed because the baby was disabled
  • 0.7% of abortions were committed due to rape
  • 0.5% of abortions were committed because “Continued pregnancy will cause impairment of major bodily function”  
  • 0.1% of abortions were committed due to incest

In that year, 36% refused to give the reason for their abortion.

READ: Minnesota report shows alarming number of repeat abortions

In 2013, a national study was done on the reasons women have abortions, and it presented different options, breaking down the numbers in more detail. However, it also documented very few abortions from rape or incest. In 2013, the reasons were:

  • 40% aborted due to financial problems.
  • 36% aborted because it was “not the right time for a baby.”
  • 31% aborted for reasons relating to their partner, including 9% who said the relationship was “bad, poor, or new,” 8% who didn’t want to be a single mother, 8% because the partner wasn’t supportive, and 3% because the partner didn’t want the baby. Three percent said their partner was abusive.
  • 29% aborted to focus on the children they already had.
  • 20% said having the child would interfere with future opportunities, including 14% who said the baby would interfere with their education and 7% who said the baby would interfere with their career.
  • 19% were not emotionally prepared to have a child or another child.
  • 6% were concerned for their own health. 
  • 5% thought the baby might be disabled or have a health problem.
  • 12% wanted “a better life for the baby that she could not provide.”
  • 7% said they were not mature enough for a child.
  • 5% aborted due to influence by family or friends.
  • 4% said they didn’t want to place the child for adoption and didn’t want the baby.

All other reasons combined were 1.2% of the total. Somewhere in that 1.2% were the percentages for rape and incest. 

Considering the 54% statistic cited above, if the Minnesota statistics hold true for the rest of the country, over half of the public opposes most abortions taking place today. Even if cases of physical health problems and the babies’ disabilities are added to the exceptions supported by some, over 85% of abortions would be opposed by most of the public.

If the political beliefs expressed in the poll hold true, the majority of the country feels that only a small percentage of abortions taking place today should be legal.

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