More women appear to be choosing life for their unborn babies in Georgia as pro-lifers expand access to information and support.
In the past two decades, abortions in the state dropped by almost 20 percent – while the state population grew, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The state saw 27,453 abortions in 2017, according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age) was 8.3.
Though abortion numbers are down, the black community in Georgia still is disproportionately affected. Pro-life advocate Ryan Bomberger reported earlier this month, “Of the 27,453 abortions in Georgia in 2017, a shocking 60.7% were black babies even though African-Americans comprise only 32.2% of the state’s population.”
Twenty five years ago, abortion numbers were much higher. In 1994, the state reported 33,516 abortions and an abortion rate of 13.7.
These abortion numbers, combined with population data, strongly suggest that fewer women are aborting their unborn babies. Georgia had a population of 7 million in 1994 and about 10.4 million in 2017, according to the report.
“We are in an increasingly pro-life generation and pro-life culture,” Cole Muzio, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Georgia, told the news outlet.
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He said pro-life advocates’ efforts to pass pro-life laws, educate the public and provide support to pregnant and parenting mothers is making a difference.
“We’re going to treat every life as valuable. That’s why it’s important (to keep fighting) and there really isn’t more to it than that,” Muzio said.
Georgia’s pro-life priorities have drawn a lot of national attention. In May, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. The law also allows parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and include the unborn baby in census data. It also allows mothers to collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth.
The Georgia abortion data reflects a wider trend across the United States. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control show abortions at an all-time low, according to the Washington Post. The CDC 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.
However, the CDC report is incomplete. Reporting is voluntary, and California, Maryland and New Hampshire did not provide their numbers to the agency. Several other states provided limited data.
The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, which is considered to have the most comprehensive abortion numbers, reported 926, 200 abortions in 2014. Though higher than the CDC numbers, this number still represents a significant drop from the late 1980s and early 1990s when the U.S. saw about 1.5 million a year.
Abortion activists claim greater access to birth control and sex education are reasons for the decline, but even they admit that pro-life efforts are leading to fewer abortions. Every year, pro-lifers are supporting unborn babies and moms through laws, pregnancy resource centers, education efforts, sidewalk counseling and more.