Pro-life advocates have a reason to celebrate this week after a report shows abortions dropping to a new all-time low across the United States.
The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group considered to have the most comprehensive abortion data, reported a 7-percent drop in abortions between 2017 and 2014, NPR reports.
There were 862,320 abortions reported in 2017, down from 926,200 in 2014, according to the report. The abortion rate also fell to 13.5 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, down from 14.6 in 2014 and 16.9 in 2011.
Not since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed abortion on demand in 1973 through Roe v. Wade have abortion numbers been so low.
Guttmacher attributed the decline to lower pregnancy rates and better access to contraception. However, pro-life efforts to protect unborn babies and mothers also made a strong impact.
According to the report, 32 states passed about 400 pro-life laws in that time period, including requirements that women be allowed to see the ultrasound of their unborn baby, informed consent, parental consent and waiting period requirements.
Guttmacher researchers tried to dismiss the impact of these laws by claiming that abortion rates fell in states that did not pass pro-life laws as well as those that did. According to the AP, “It said 57% of the nationwide decline occurred in the 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, that did not enact any new restrictions.”
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However, pro-life advocates are active in liberal states, too, and pro-life legislation can educate the whole of society about the humanity of the unborn.
In 2017, even the Guttmacher researchers admitted that pro-life laws are impacting abortion rates. “… 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,” its 2014 abortion report stated.
Yet more evidence of pro-lifers’ life-saving impact, the states with the highest abortion rates also have the most permissive pro-abortion laws, including the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York and Maryland, according to the report. Meanwhile, the states with the lowest abortion rates are ones that have been working hard to protect unborn babies from abortion: Wyoming, South Dakota, Kentucky, Idaho and Missouri.
The number of abortion facilities also dropped in that time period. According to the AP, 31 closed, bringing the total number down to 808.
“While every state in the United States is home to an abortion clinic, five — North Dakota, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kansas — have only one. In contrast, California has 161, the most in the nation; New York, 113; Florida, 65; and New Jersey, 41,” the Washington Post reports.
While the total number of abortions are down, the number of medication abortions are up. According to Guttmacher, 39 percent of all abortions in the U.S. were drug-induced abortions in 2017, up from 29 percent in 2017.
Various news outlets also speculated about a possible rise in self-induced abortions, a dangerous trend that abortion activists have been pushing in the past few years. The FDA recently cracked down on several online abortion drug sellers after one was linked to an alleged forced abortion.
Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life, told LifeNews that the federal government needs better tracking methods for abortion states:
“While all Americans can be proud of the historic decline in abortion, it is stunning that 46 years after Roe v. Wade, America has no reliable national system of abortion data collection, analysis, or reporting. Ours is a dysfunctional system because basic abortion data reporting is voluntary. We call upon Congress and the White House to unite in authorizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track abortion data in every state—and especially states like California and Maryland, who have refused to cooperate in monitoring and regulating abortion. If abortion is simply another healthcare or medical procedure, certainly the CDC should have the ability to track and monitor these rates consistently, so Americans are not relying on third-party nonprofits for critical public health data. Ultimately, this national decline means little if not accompanied by comprehensive women’s protection and patient protection laws, alongside paid family leave provisions, and other policies that make the choice for life the natural and obvious choice for all mothers and fathers—and in every situation and circumstance.”
The Guttmacher Institute collects data from every abortion facility in the country. The Centers for Disease Control also issues an annual abortion report, but it is not complete. The government does not require states to report abortion data to the CDC; several do not provide any information while others provide only limited data.
The most recent Centers for Disease Control abortion 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, according to the CDC. That is a 26-percent decline since 2006, Newsmax reports. Among teenagers, the rate declined even more drastically – a full 54 percent since 2006, according to the CDC. The CDC reported 188 abortions per 1,000 live births, a 19-percent drop from 2006.