No one likes to see a business close its doors — unless that business is an abortion clinic! In states across America, pro-lifers have been all too happy to shutter facilities bent on misleading women and taking innocent lives. And that’s no small number, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Since 2011, 58 of America’s abortion clinics — almost one in 10 — have either pulled the plug on their abortion services or folded altogether.
In most cases, clinics are closing offices faster than they can open new ones. And that’s just fine with the majority of Americans, who elected a record number of pro-lifers to state and local seats over the past two years. Now, months later, those efforts are paying off as more legislatures try to protect unborn children from pain and crackdown on the unsafe conditions endangering their mothers. A flood of health, safety, and funding regulations — as many as 200 — are hitting the abortion industry where it hurts most: in the wallet.
Whether leaders are targeting doctors’ admitting privileges, Planned Parenthood funding, or facility upgrades, the results have been the same: a thinning of the clinics’ ranks. What was once a 705-center nationwide network is shrinking at a historic pace — to just 591 at last count. And, as Bloomberg points out, that number would be even lower if it weren’t for the legal challenges blocking some states’ laws.
Meanwhile, the tough new restrictions in Texas, Ohio, Kansas, and other states continue to squeeze out an industry that’s already suffering from decreased demand. What’s more, it’s not just state leaders who are aggressively beating back the pro-abortion movement. Local towns and cities — like Albuquerque — are taking matters into their own hands. In New Mexico, pro-lifers collected enough signatures to put America’s first local ban on abortions before voters in November. Local activists gathered a whopping 27,000 signatures in just 20 days, double the number the campaign needed, to block abortions at 20 weeks — when babies feel pain.
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Taken together, this wave of success all points back to one simple truth: elections do have consequences. For the first time since Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement has adopted a state-by-state strategy that includes more than clinic protests or sidewalk counseling (both of which are important). People are finally getting directly involved in the political process and electing candidates who will do more than make pro-life speeches — they’ll advance pro-life measures.
And so far, that change has paid off. As we’ve seen in dozens of states, leaders are using the system to incrementally move America back to a culture of life. Changing hearts is important — but changing laws is vital too.
LifeNews Note: Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.