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Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

What the Historically Low Abortion Numbers Mean

  • Jim Daly
    Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2014 Feb 20
  • Comments

 You may have heard the news: abortion rates are at the lowest they’ve been since Roe v. Wade legalized the act in all 50 states 41 years ago.

Two separate sources confirm this statement: the most recent report by Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, and the government’s Center for Disease Control 2010 report.

It’s actually not a surprise we’re at these “lowest ever” abortion numbers, because we’ve been seeing years of declining trends.

To what can we attribute this development?

In its report, the Guttmacher Institute downplays the more than 40 life-affirming state laws passed between 2008 and 2010 as having an impact on the abortion drop.

However, Guttmacher also admits its survey of the abortion industry wasn’t designed to measure the impact of new laws.

What we know is this: Each time state-level pro-life bills are considered and passed, there’s a considerable amount of public dialogue on the topic. It provides those of us on the side of life with the opportunity to talk facts – like how science confirms the humanity of the preborn child. Or that abortion doesn’t just impact the life of the baby but how it also exposes the mother to significant physical and emotional dangers.

 I believe this national conversation has contributed to the decline in the number of abortions.

But the public discourse that surrounds these bills also gives us a chance to share our heart on the matter.

Moms who’ve chosen life for their children after an unplanned pregnancy have the perfect opportunity to share their stories. It gives us as a movement a reason to describe all the resources we lovingly provide expectant moms: quality medical care at free or reduced costs; access to donated baby items; life skills and parenting classes; loving families ready to adopt.

All of this impacts the public’s perception of abortion and helps raise questions and solidify opinions about the value of human life.

Make no mistake about it – even one abortion is one too many. But in this ongoing march to the day when every life is protected under law, we’re making the case for life in a million big and small ways.

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