A new report from the Guttmacher Institute shows how pro-life advocates can make a difference when they elect pro-life leaders to office.
Since 2011, state lawmakers have passed a record 479 abortion restrictions in 33 states, according to Guttmacher, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood. To put that number into perspective, states have passed 1,271 pro-life laws since 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, the report states. This means more than one third of all pro-life laws in the U.S. have been approved in the past decade.
Of those 479 laws, 40 percent directly ban abortions in some way, whether at a gestational age or as a means of protecting unborn babies from discrimination based on a disability or their sex, the report found.
That number includes 17 pro-life laws that states passed this year. Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio all passed laws banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six to eight weeks; and Alabama passed a law banning abortions almost completely. Arkansas and Utah also passed laws banning abortions after 18 weeks, a point by which most European countries also ban abortions.
However, the abortion industry is challenging all of these laws in court.
With these pro-life laws have come drops in abortion rates. The latest Centers for Disease Control report from 2018 showed abortions at an all-time low since Roe v. Wade.
The report recorded 638,169 abortions in 2015, a 2-percent drop from 2014. The abortion rate declined to 11.8 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age, a 26-percent decline since 2006. The CDC report is incomplete because several states do not report their abortion data to the government.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates the number of abortions in the U.S. is currently about 926,000, down from a high of about 1.5 million annually in the early 1990s.
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Guttmacher spokeswoman Elizabeth Nash blasted pro-life advocates for trying to make the killing of unborn babies illegal across America.
“2019 has become the year when antiabortion politicians make clear that their ultimate agenda is banning abortion outright, at any stage in pregnancy and for any reason,” she wrote, though pro-life advocates never have been secret about their goal to end abortions.
In criticizing pro-lifers, she made clear abortion activists’ own agenda – legal, unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortions for any reason up to birth.
“While state policymakers must be vigilant in guarding against the barrage of abortion bans, this is a critical opportunity to envision and codify rights that go beyond those established by Roe and imagine a future of expanded, accessible and affordable abortion care without stigma,” Nash wrote.
She praised New York and Oregon for passing laws to “protect abortion rights throughout pregnancy” and force taxpayers to fund abortions. Her report came out before Illinois passed a similarly radical pro-abortion law last week.
Though some states are moving to expand abortions, many state lawmakers recognize that their constituents want unborn babies to be protected.
Polls consistently show strong support of abortion restrictions. A May Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive.
Another poll out of Harvard University found that just 6 percent of Americans said abortions should be allowed “up until the birth of the child,” while 8 percent said they should be permitted up to the third trimester. It also found that a majority of Americans want the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.
And in January, a Marist University poll found that 13 percent of Americans support a New York law that legalized abortions for basically any reason up to birth.
As modern medical advances demonstrate the humanity of unborn babies and the abortion industry pushes an increasingly radical agenda, it is no surprise that so many voters are electing leaders who are taking action to protect babies in the womb.