The last abortion facility in South Dakota is struggling to keep its doors open.
Sarah Stoesz, who runs the Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, told CBS News recently that they are only doing abortions once a month, and she does not know how long that will continue.
Though biased, the report included signs of hope for the future of unborn babies. It’s clear that pro-life laws and efforts like 40 Days for Life are making an impact in South Dakota – and saving lives.
South Dakota is one of only five states with one abortion facility, according to the report. The others are Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia.
It used to be that the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood aborted unborn babies every Thursday. But during the initial coronavirus shutdowns in the spring, it stopped doing abortions completely because its abortionists (all out-of-state doctors) could not travel there, according to the report.
“It was a really, really hard decision to suspend services, and really painful for us, especially after decades of working so hard to keep services open,” Stoesz said. “But we just couldn’t overcome the coronavirus.”
She told CBS that they started doing abortions again in October, but they are only offering them once a month now.
Abortions are big business for Planned Parenthood, though it claims they represent just a small percent of its services. Stoesz’s comments to the news outlet suggested that her facility relies on the money it makes from aborting unborn babies to stay afloat.
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According to the report: “Even as coronavirus cases surge, Stoesz said there won’t be any interruption of services at the Sioux Falls clinic moving forward due to the virus. But how long the clinic can remain financially viable is a looming problem, Stoesz said.”
Stoesz said they have more calls requesting abortions than appointments available. However, state health statistics show that abortions have been dropping steadily for years. In 2019, 414 unborn babies were aborted in South Dakota, less than half the number in 2008, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.
Stoesz blamed the drop – what Americans would consider to be a good thing – on “the culmination of state-level restrictions that have nearly regulated the procedure out of existence.”
Since 1973, South Dakota has adopted 38 pro-life laws, including a prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain, a 72-hour waiting period, informed consent, a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions and more, according to the report.
Pro-life laws do save lives, and pro-life outreach efforts do, too. Brad Lindwurm, a state pro-life leader who runs the Sioux City 40 Days for Life, said their daily prayer campaigns outside the Planned Parenthood are saving babies from abortion.
“We’ve had great success in South Dakota,” he told the news outlet.
Because of pro-lifers unwavering efforts for the unborn, abortion rates have been dropping across the country for years. Not since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed abortion on demand in 1973 through Roe v. Wade have abortion numbers been so low. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 862,320 abortions reported in 2017, down from 926,200 in 2014.
A new study from the University of Kansas suggests abortions may have dropped again in 2020, in part, because of coronavirus shutdowns.
While abortion numbers are still devastatingly high, pro-lifers should take hope in the knowledge that their efforts are saving babies and their mothers from the violence of abortion.