New pro-life laws are being adopted coast to coast, and 2013 closed with 81 abortion facilities being shut down permanently across America.
But the fact that the abortion rate dropped to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 for 2011, the lowest since 1973, is completely unrelated.
We know because officials with the Guttmacher Institute, the Planned Parenthood-allied organization, released a study on the decline in abortion, and study author Rachel Jones said, “Our study did not find evidence that the national decline in abortions during this period was the result of new state abortion restrictions. We also found no evidence that the decline was linked to a drop in the number of abortion providers.”
Columnist Sally Kohn added emphasis to the idea that new pro-life laws, and clinics shutting down every few days, doesn’t impact the number of abortions.
“To the extent that either side can claim any victory in this landmark, credit should go to reproductive rights groups, not anti-abortion activists,” she wrote. “In fact, foes of abortion have opposed most every single public policy that contributes to lowering the abortion rate in America.”
But Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, explained the reality of the situation.
“This Guttmacher report bends over backward in trying to deny that record-setting pro-life legislation has made tremendous strides in curbing abortions in the United States,” she said. “Further, the authors try to convince the American public that suddenly couples are using contraception better and timing the spacing of their children better, all the while denying the concrete data showing that abstinence education is improving the future for the nation’s teens and common sense legislation is exposing the profit-centered motivation of the abortion industry.
“Our young women are benefiting as fewer are engaging in too-early sex, fewer are choosing abortion, fewer doctors are willing to do abortions, and more clinics are closing.”
During the year, 87 businesses discontinued offering surgical abortions, including 81 that are permanently shuttered.
In the report,”Death Throws of the Death Industry,” Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger explained the closures leave the number of surgical abortion clinics in the U.S. at 582, a drop of 12 percent in just 2013 alone and a 73 percent plunge from the high in 1991 of 2,176.
“Abortion-pill-only clinic numbers remained relatively steady at 176, with six documented closures,” she reported.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said the numbers “show that the pro-life movement is gaining ground and that the abortion industry is collapsing – mostly due to its own negligence and greed, which has been exposed by their unwillingness and inability to comply with even the most rudimentary safety standards.”
Among the reasons for the closures are a surge in pro-life sentiment, a drop in the demand for abortion, new state laws that establish cleanliness and safety standards for abortionists, and increased enforcement of existing laws.
Other factors were greater reporting of abortionists abusing the law and the fact that many abortionists are retiring and are not being replaced.
“The state with the most closures was Texas at 11, most of which shut down after Texas passed an abortion law earlier this year that required abortionists to maintain local hospital privileges. New clinic safety rules accounted for closures in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well,” the report said.
Newman also noted the “wave” of pro-life legislation efforts flooding statehouses across America.
“Much of that legislation was inspired by information gathered by pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, which have increasingly publicized documentation of abortion abuses. Once legislators find out what is really going on at abortion clinics in their states, they understand the urgency of passing pro-life laws that protect women and their babies from clinics that prey on their vulnerabilities.”
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, said, “The bottom line is that Americans and specifically women have become increasingly pro-life. The pro-life message resonates especially with young women who have grown up seeing their own sonogram pictures. The debate on whether or not a child in the womb is a part of our human family is settled science. Concerned Women for America will continue to work to protect women and their babies through education, better options for mothers, and better laws.”
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said, “That abortion rates and numbers continue to decline is heartening because it shows that women are rejecting the idea of abortion as the answer to an unexpected pregnancy.
“This latest report from Guttmacher shows the long-term efforts of the right-to-life movement to educate the country about the humanity of the unborn child and to enact laws that help children and their mothers are having a tremendous impact,” she said.
The report by Guttmacher, which originally was founded as a research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, said for the year 2011, there were 1.05 million abortions in the United States – 550,000 fewer than the peak of 1.6 million in 1990.
According to the NRLC, “The Guttmacher report attempts to downplay the impact of pro-life legislation during the period covered by the report. However this ignores the significant educational impact of the public policy debate surrounding pro-life legislation. Pro-life legislative efforts at the federal and state levels dating back to the 1980s have established legal protections for unborn children and their mothers. They have also increased public awareness about the impact of abortion by prompting discussion of such topics as the development of the unborn child, the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion, and the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure.”
The organization noted in 2010, Nebraska because the first state to enact the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, “a groundbreaking law that provides protection for unborn children capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age.”
The group reported while the Nebraska legislature was considering the bill, a nationwide debate about the capacity of unborn children to feel pain began and “once again refocused the country’s attention to the fact that abortion takes the life of a living human being.”
“The legislative efforts of the right-to-life movement, and significantly, the resulting national debate and educational campaigns surrounding pro-life legislation should not be minimized when discussing the decline in abortion numbers,” Tobias noted. “The more Americans learn about the development of the unborn child and the tragedy of abortion, the more they reject abortion as a legitimate answer to an unexpected pregnancy.”
The Guttmacher report said the abortion ratio was 21.2 per 100 pregnancies, showing women were more likely to choose life for their unborn children than at any time before abortion was mainstreamed by the Supreme Court in 1973.
“While overall fewer unborn children are being killed by abortion, the Guttmacher report tragically finds that more than one in five pregnancies ends in abortion and takes the life of a living unborn child,” Tobias noted. “The right-to-life movement must continue its efforts to protect these children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion and our society must do a better job in providing life-affirming alternatives.”