by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2006
LifeNews.com Note: Steven Ertelt is the editor and CEO of LifeNews.com.
One of the untold stories in the abortion debate today is the significant progress that’s been made in reducing the number of abortions.
Thanks to dozens of pro-life laws approved by state legislatures each year, the growth and effectiveness of pregnancy centers, and the popularity of abstinence among teenagers, states across the country are seeing abortions decline. In some cases they’ve reached their lowest abortion total since Roe.
But, because of politics, researchers and the media want the public to think abortions are increasing because of who works in the White House.
When researcher Gerald Stassen came out with a study just before the 2004 presidential elections claiming abortions were increasing under President Bush’s watch, the media went into "gotcha" journalism mode. Surely the president must not be pro-life after all.
Stassen only bothered to look at abortion numbers in 16 states to come up with his analysis.
In Illinois, he used a figure showing abortions up in 2001, ignoring that they went down 10 percent in 2002. In Wisconsin, Stassen said abortions went up, but the state health department said they went down. And in South Dakota, Stassen mistook an increase in the birth rate for an increase in the number of abortions.
After both sides of the abortion debate refuted his claims, Stassen admitted that an analysis by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute was "significantly better" than his own.
AGI, a Planned Parenthood partner, said abortions had gone down by a total of 1.6 percent over the years 2001 and 2002.
Recently, the New York Times hoped the nation would buy into the hoax that pro-life laws do nothing to reduce the number of abortions.
The Times looked at even fewer states than the discredited Stassen — using just six to make assert that somehow laws allowing parents to know about their daughter’s abortions or requiring their approval do nothing to reduce abortions.
In a previous article on LifeNews.com, that notion is refuted.
University of Alabama political science professor and statistician Dr. Michael New has conducted extensive analysis on abortion laws and abortion figures and determined that the hundreds of pro-life laws state legislature approved contributed significantly to the 17.4 percent abortion decline during the 1990s.
That abortion decline is continuing into the current decade.
There are no reliable national abortion figures since 2002, but looking at new abortion totals from every state that has reported over the last 18 months shows abortions are on the decline again.
* The number of abortions in Tennessee has dropped to its lowest level in almost 30 years. Not since 1977 has the number of annual abortions been this low. The number of abortions in 2004 dropped by more than 1,000, a 6.9 percent decline.
* New figures in November from the Georgia Department of Health reveal the number of abortions is down more than 5 percent. According to health officials, abortions performed in Georgia fell 5.3 percent from 2003’s totals.
* The new Pennsylvania figures show a decline of 2.4 percent in 2004.
* Minnesota’s abortion numbers are down to their lowest totals since 1975. The Minnesota Department of Health says there were 13,788 abortions reported in 2004, compared to 14,174 in 2003 — a decrease of nearly three percent.
* New statistics in the state of Illinois show a whopping 10 percent drop in the number of abortions performed last year. They’re at the lowest level since Roe.
* The Michigan Department of Community Health reports 26,269 abortions were performed in Michigan during 2004 compared to 29,540 Michigan abortions in 2003, a decrease of 11.1 percent.
* Abortions on women in Washington state are at their lowest points since the state started collecting data in 1980, according to a May 2005 report.
* Also in May, the state of Wisconsin reported that abortion rates there are at their lowest levels since 1974.
* Abortions in Oregon are down to their lowest levels since 1998, having decreased 20 percent between then and 2004.
* Abortions in Kentucky have been steadily dropping for more than a decade with 3,502 in 2002 and 9,590 in 1991.
* Since 1988, abortions have dropped a whopping 53 percent in South Carolina.
* After peaking at 8,814 in 1991, the number of abortions in 2004 in Mississippi fell to just over 3,000.
* Abortions in Kansas are still on the decline, having dropped again for the fourth year in a row. In 2005, abortions there decreased significantly, with a decline of 8 percent from the previous year.
These declines in abortion are good news and they deserve more extensive coverage.