Abortions Drop 37% in Memphis, Tennessee as More Babies Saved From Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 29, 2016   |   6:50PM   |   Memphis, Tennessee

Things are looking up for unborn babies in Memphis, Tennessee. New government numbers indicate that abortions have dropped sharply in the past three years.

The number of abortions fell by 36.6 percent from 2011 to 2014 in Shelby County, the state’s largest county and the home to Memphis, The Commercial Appeal reports. In 2011, there were 4,595 abortions in the county, but by 2014, the numbers dropped to 2,914, according to a new report from the Tennessee Department of Health. The ratio of abortions to live births also fell dramatically, from 326.4 per 1,000 in 2011 to 208.3 per 1,000 in 2014, the report found.

Here is more from the report:

The reasons for the decline are disputed among representatives of anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights groups, although both sides agree that one factor has been increased use of so-called long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as implants and intrauterine devices. Anti-abortion groups also contend that stricter laws restricting abortion, along with programs aimed at persuading women to avoid the procedure, have contributed to the decline. …

Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, said campaigns like the one that brings mobile ultrasounds to pregnant women so they can “see the humanity of their unborn child” have averted many abortions.

“There is no longer a debate about whether this is a human child,” he said.

Legislative efforts to curb abortion also have had an impact, Harris said. In 2014, Tennessee voters approved Amendment 1 to the state Constitution, which empowered the Legislature to enact, amend or repeal laws regarding abortion. The amendment, drafted in response to a 2000 State Supreme Court ruling that had struck down several laws restricting abortions, cleared the way for enforcement of requirements such as a 48-hour waiting period and counseling before women undergo the procedure.

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“The passage of pro-life laws save lives and it protects women, girls and families from an industry that targets them,” Harris said.

Abortion activists in the state are trying to reverse the progress, however. Just days after voters approved Amendment 1, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee voters’ decision.

The pro-life effort Yes On 1 explained the current situation in Tennessee:

On April 22, 2016, Federal District Court Judge Kevin Sharp ruled in favor of the Planned Parenthood plaintiffs and demanded a recount of the ballots on Amendment 1.  Sharp also maintained that the ballot of any Tennessean having voted for Amendment 1 but not also casting a vote in the Governor’s race must be thrown out.

The case is now on appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati with a hearing date to be set.

The new state abortion report seems to indicate that new pro-life laws are making a difference in the lives of unborn babies and moms in Tennessee. Between 2011 and 2016, state legislators approved a number of pro-life laws, including:

– Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2011)

– Ban on dispensing abortion pills by telemedicine (2011)

– Required hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers (2012)

– Informed consent (2015)

– 48-hour waiting period (2015)

– Required inspection and licensure of abortion facilities (2015)

– Ban on the trafficking of human fetal remains (2016) (public bill

– Informed consent required of mother regarding the disposal/disposition of fetal remains (2016)

ACTION: The Yes on 1 Ballot Committee urges concerned Tennesseans to Protect the People’s Vote on Amendment 1 by signing the Friend-of-the-Court (amicus) brief being filed by Yes on 1. Click here to read and sign the brief.