Pro-life advocates have made a lot of progress changing hearts and minds for life in the past decade.
From 2008 to 2014, the abortion rate dropped a full 25 percent, according to a new report in the American Journal of Public Health.
Looking at data from the federal government and the Guttmacher Institute, the researchers found that abortions dropped from 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15 to 44) in 2008 to 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, the Washington Post reports.
Researchers said the biggest decline was in the 15 to 19 age group, at 46 percent. The abortion rate also dropped for the first time in 20 years for the poorest women in America – the demographic with the highest abortion rate, according to the group.
This drop came despite efforts by pro-abortion President Barack Obama and his administration to expand abortion through Obamacare and other efforts.
Here’s more from the report:
While these policy changes are important and affecting women’s access to and use of abortion in complex ways, co-authors Rachel K. Jones and Jenna Jerman, who work for the research division of Guttmacher, suggested that the main factor driving the decline in abortions was much simpler: improvements in contraceptive use.
Definitive data on unintended pregnancies for that period isn’t available yet, but there are other indicators that support this theory. The teen birthrate, for one, has been declining, hitting an all-time low in 2014, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Experts have credited better access to contraception and more convenient and reliable contraception than in the past. They have also suggested that many teens may be having less sex.
However, researchers with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute also admitted earlier this year that state pro-life laws and other efforts also are making a difference.
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“… the wave of abortion restrictions passed at the state level over the last five years could also have contributed to the decline by making it more difficult for women to access needed services in highly restrictive states,” Guttmacher researchers said when they released a report on abortion numbers in January.
The report found that abortion numbers dropped below 1 million in the United States for the first time in four decades.
The pro-abortion research group, considered to have the most comprehensive abortion numbers for the U.S., reported an estimated 926,200 abortions in 2014 and 958,700 in 2013. The abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age) also dropped to 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, down 14 percent from 2011, according to the report.
As is typical, Guttmacher researchers argued that one cause for the decline is improved access to birth control, which they said decreases the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. However, they also admitted in less than flattering terms that pro-lifers are succeeding in their efforts to save unborn babies and moms from abortion.
Pro-lifers have been working hard to make abortion unthinkable by providing hope, assistance and information to moms and their babies.
Some of the state laws passed in recent years have helped to ensure that women are fully informed about their unborn baby’s development as well as their options, including material assistance for parents, before having an abortion. Other states cracked down on abortion facilities that were operating in unsafe conditions and putting women’s lives in jeopardy.
Grassroots efforts also have been instrumental in helping to save lives. These included more sidewalk counseling and outreach to moms and babies through organizations like 40 Days for Life, and pregnancy centers’ growing outreach to moms and babies in need.
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics released in 2016 indicated similar abortion trends. The data found that both teen birth and teen abortion rates are declining to historic lows across the U.S.