When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in 1972 on Roe vs Wade providing abortion on demand, this understandably was the low point of the pro-life movement. This did not stop it however. The court decision not only changed the narrative on the abortion issue, but also led to a change in the entire culture, in that it led to the focusing on self and work and not on having a family. Despite a decade-long economic and cultural boom, this trend gave rise to fewer and fewer births of children. According to a U.S. Census and American Community Data, since 2000, white college graduates without children increased by 20% in American urban centres. The richest 25% metro areas in the U.S., accounting for half of the country’s economy and the nation’s internet and web-portal jobs, have created an environment in which childless individuals thrive. That is, delayed marriage and family in favour of intense high paying jobs and adult-centred lifestyles increased, but not families with children. With this culture, it is not surprising that the country’s highest abortion rates and lowest rates of church attendance have occurred. Urban areas have become theme-parks for grown-ups.
The good news however, is that this situation is being turned around with another cultural change that has occurred in regard to abortion. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data for abortions, released in 2016, indicate that the abortion rate is rapidly declining. It has fallen by more than 25% from 2007 to 2016. Among the 47 states that report abortion data consistently (California, Maryland and New Hampshire do not report abortion numbers), the CDC abortion report showed a declining abortion rate. These statistics were similar to that of the pro-abortion Planned Parenthood affiliate, Guttmacher Institute, whose report was released in September 2019.
Decline in Surgical Abortion Facilities
There are two types of abortion clinics which are for-profit businesses. They are Surgical Abortion Clinics and Medical Abortion Clinics. These latter offices supply abortions only through the administration of drugs (pills) or other chemical means. They do not conduct surgical abortions.
There was a staggering 79% drop in the number of surgical abortion facilities in the US since 1991.
Surgical abortion facilities are the most profitable especially if they conduct abortions past the first trimester when prices and profits soar.
This decline in surgical abortion businesses has led to attempts to increase medical abortion clinics which supply abortion through drugs or other chemical means, as there is a huge profit margin in providing abortion drugs. Planned Parenthood pays about $82 for the abortion drug combinations, but sells them for a huge mark-up at an average of $604 at their abortion pill clinics around the country.
Media Deliberately Misinterpret the Results
Most of the media coverage on declining abortion numbers typically claimed that increased contraception use had caused the decline in abortions. This covered up the actual fact that it was a higher percentage of women choosing to carry their babies to term, rather than the use of contraception, that was the cause of the change. The decision to carry on with their pregnancies was due to the efforts of the pro-life movement making tremendous gains in public opinion.
Gallup, for example, polls on a similar abortion question every year. Its latest poll, released in June 2019, found that 60 percent of Americans want all (21%) or almost all (39%) abortions made illegal.
Other polls align with the Gallup findings. In the spring, a Hill-Harris X survey found that 55% of voters said they do not think heartbeat laws are too restrictive – even though, according to The Hill, they would ban almost all abortions. Similarly, a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that just 6% of Americans said abortions should be allowed “up until the birth of the child”. Marist University research found that just 13% of Americans support abortion at any time during pregnancy. In contrast, 58% said they would like abortions to be allowed in cases of rape, incest and risks to the mother`s life.
This profound change on the abortion issue is also due to a higher number of pro-life state laws and more pregnancy help centres being established.
These facts have been confirmed by the left-leaning New York Times, which recently admitted that abortion supporters are losing ground to pro-lifers. It attributed this to “miscalculations” by pro-abortionists `which included: failing to appreciate Trump’s winning the White House in 2016 instead of pro-abortion Hillary Clinton; failing to pay attention to state-level battles over abortion legislation which had been written off as irrelevant, due to the belief that the “progressive” left-wing federal judiciary would strike down such laws; Planned Parenthood and other national pro-abortion groups overly prioritizing politics and power instead of the patients (pregnant women); and failing to protect the abortion providers who carry out this unpleasant work.
This pro-life progress in the U.S. however, could quickly change, depending on the outcome of the U.S. 2020 election, and the performance of the U.S. Supreme Court, which still needs another pro-life nomination to ensure the protection for unborn human life.
In Canada, where it is not even acceptable to mention abortion, we have much work to do to catch up with the abortion situation in the U.S. We should be encouraged, however, that change can happen! We should never be discouraged but keep on working to change minds and hearts on the issue.