For those who believe that life begins at conception, abortion hangs over society like a dark cloud. So long as the culture and the courts continue to embrace this barbaric practice as simply a matter of "women's health care," there remains a need for pro-life advocacy and activism. According to the most recent statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, the pro-life community has reason to feel hopeful. As of 2010 abortion was at its lowest level in 30 years, and rates continue to fall.
One possible influence on the falling abortion rate lies in the twin realms of science and technology. As reproductive science has advanced, the humanity of an unborn child has become increasingly apparent. We now know that unborn children begin interacting with their uterine environment at a very early point in the pregnancy. They respond to physical stimuli. They can feel pain. With each progressing week in the pregnancy an unborn baby acquires new capacities and abilities. The antiquated notion that an unborn baby is merely an extension of the mother's body has been proven false. Since the baby is a separate and genetically distinct person, the argument that abortion is simply a matter of "my body, my choice" has less resonance. Even if that argument were true (never mind the fact that the law places all sorts of limitations on what we can do with our bodies, e.g. cannot smoke before 18 or drink before 21, can't ingest illegal drugs, etc.), the argument doesn't apply to another individual. A person's right to swing his fist ends where another's nose begins. Increasingly, society is recognizing that a pregnant woman is bound by certain moral – and perhaps one day soon, legal – obligations to the person residing within her womb.