Regions Hospital in St. Paul said Friday that it will stop performing elective abortions after Dec. 9, when it closes its reproductive GYN Special Services Clinic.
The hospital said it reached the decision because the number of abortions has been falling for years and other clinics in the Twin Cities provide similar services. Abortion opponents, however, said their years of protests forced the action.
Regions is the last remaining hospital in the Twin Cities area that performs elective abortions, officials said. Last year it performed 545 abortions, down from 902 a decade earlier. But it ranked just sixth overall among abortion providers in the state last year. Each of the five larger providers performed more than 1,000 abortions in 2010.
The largest, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, which performed 4,033 abortions last year, will open an expanded clinic and administrative office in the Midway area of St. Paul next month.