This number may not matter-of-factly prove the country is turning more pro-life, but it certainly is an encouraging sign for the culture of life in the United States. Since 2010, the number of abortions nationwide has decreased 12 percent, according to a new Associated Press report. Most surprisingly, the rate has even decreased in some of the country's most liberal hubs.
Several of the states that have been most aggressive in passing anti-abortion laws — including Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma — have seen their abortion numbers drop by more than 15 percent since 2010. But more liberal states such as New York, Washington and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion.
Here’s how the AP produced these numbers:
The AP obtained the most recent abortion numbers from the health departments of all 45 states that compile such data on a comprehensive basis. (States not compiling such data are California, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wyoming.) With one exception, the data was from either 2013 or 2014 — providing a unique nationwide gauge of abortion trends during a wave of anti-abortion laws that gathered strength starting in 2011.
How we got here is a question that has divided advocates on both sides of the abortion debate. Pro-lifers reason that it is advanced technology and a change of heart that has led to more women choosing life. Statistics, for instance, have revealed that 78 percent of women who see ultrasounds reject abortion. American United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest explains why this technology is such a powerful tool.
"There's an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture," she said. "There's an increased awareness of the humanity of the baby before it is born."
Pro-abortion advocates, on the other hand, argue it is increased access to contraception that is a direct correlation to the drop in abortions.
The Associated Press made sure to mention the only states that saw increases in abortion were led by Republican governors who have signed major pro-life bills into law, Louisiana and Michigan. Yet, a large reason for this is the influx of women seeking abortion in neighboring states like Ohio, where several abortion clinics have shuttered.
We need to prevent women from feeling such a sense of desperation that they need to go to such lengths to end their pregnancies. One way to do that is by informing them of places like pregnancy resource centers. Such organizations provide life saving materials that show frightened women that abortion is not their only option.
Some activists who promote "women's choice" like to claim that they want abortions to go down, yet then we see campaigns like this, where organizations are all too happy to promote the inhumane procedure. As for Planned Parenthood, it has dollar signs in its eyes. Why stifle its most lucrative business?
No matter what factors have led to the lower abortion rate, it is a good sign that we are starting to scale back the damage done since the fateful Supreme Court decision in 1973. Since Roe v. Wade, nearly 55 million lives have been destroyed by abortion.
Hopefully 12 percent is just the beginning of a continuing downward progression.