September 19, 2019 - Thursday
Abortion Drop Shows the Roe Less Traveled
September 19, 2019
Pro-lifers are making amazing strides in this country -- but don't take our word for it. Take the Left's. According to the liberal Guttmacher Institute, the U.S. hit its lowest abortion rate ever in 2017 -- dropping a full 20 percent from 2011. But don't expect liberals to admit something else: that a record number of pro-life state laws are responsible. On that, they draw the line.
While abortion groups scramble to explain the dip in business, expert Michael New knows exactly where to look: the states. Almost 400 pro-life laws went into effect during that same timeframe -- pushing back on the culture of death and making an undeniable impact. "If I were to go back to 1980 and talk to pro-life leadership and say, 'You know what? Thirty-nine years later, we're not going to overturn Roe v. Wade, but we'll cut abortion numbers in half,' they probably would've said I was crazy. But this is [what's] happen[ed]. I think these falling numbers really show good evidence that we are, in fact, putting a culture of life in this country."
A higher percent of unexpected pregnancies are being carried to term, New points out. And it's not as if these unintended pregnancies suddenly stopped happening. "It's just when they do happen, women are choosing life. And why are they choosing life? Well, for a variety of reasons. First, because of changing hearts and minds. If you look at Gallup surveys, we see a higher percentage of people identifying as pro-life. Back in 1995, only 33 percent of people, according to a Gallup poll, said they were pro-life. Our recent Gallup data shows that 49 percent identify as pro-life. It's now a pro-life plurality. Now, that's a good sign. We also see increases in number pregnancy help centers." New says he's studied the data since 1988. The number of organizations offering pregnancy care skyrocketed by over 80 percent.
Of course, the other big story from this data is the decrease in abortion clinics. Almost every week, there seem to be new headlines about another one of these businesses closing its doors. Just yesterday, Toledo's last abortion clinic called it quits on surgical abortion because they couldn't meet the standards just implemented under Ohio law. Making matters worse for the Planned Parenthoods of the world, the abortion industry is having trouble attracting young doctors. "They've had to invest quite a lot of money trying to train a new generation of physicians willing to do abortions. And most aren't interested," New points out. "Most will go into medical school and want to preserve life. They don't want to end life. So, again... that's a reason for hope."
New, who's a visiting professor at Catholic University and an associate scholar at Charlotte Lozier Institute, is one of the reasons Republicans are so adamant about protecting the Hyde amendment. The 43-year-old policy, his research found, saves an astounding 60,000 lives a year. That's over two million since 1976. "And there's good research showing parental involvement, laws, informed consent laws, regulations ensuring that abortion clinics account for the health and safety of women. All of these things have an impact on abortion numbers down and protecting the weak and vulnerable."
If there's one thing both sides know, it's that the abortion industry is on the ropes. When you see the bottom falling out of the market -- combined with the baby body part scandal and the stories of abortionists keeping thousands of dead bodies as trophies, they're at a vulnerable point. The message of life is resonating, New says. Now is not the time to pull back. We're in arm's reach of America being a predominately pro-life nation again.
"You know, I always tell pro-life audiences, push your chips at the center of the table. We are on the verge of some exciting policy changes that might restore protection to literally millions of unborn children... And the cavalry is coming up behind us. Young people really see this issue differently than they have in the past. So I think there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future."
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.