As abortion rates decline, ERLC President Moore says there is still ‘much to be done’

The number and rate of abortions continue to decline as America passes the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the sanctity of human life observances that mark the ruling.
Meanwhile Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion chain, maintains its strong share of the diminishing market.
Millions of pro-life Americans, including many in Baptist churches, observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 18. The annual observance on the Southern Baptist Convention’s denominational calendar is one of many responses by pro-lifers to the Supreme Court’s decision Jan. 22, 1973, that legalized abortion nationwide and has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 57 million unborn babies.
The latest statistics encourage efforts to educate Americans, help pregnant women and promote pro-life laws to reduce and end legal abortion.
The annual report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed the abortion rate dropped in 2011 to 13.9, the lowest rate since the lethal procedure was legalized 42 years ago. The rate is the number of abortions per thousand women ages 15 to 44. The federal agency released its statistics in late November 2014, reporting a total of 730,322 abortions from the states that cooperate with the CDC.
The Guttmacher Institute provides more thorough statistics and showed in its most recent report a total of 1.06 million abortions in 2011, the most recent year for which numbers are available.
For both the CDC and Guttmacher, the latest reports demonstrate the dramatic decline in the number of abortions from 1990, when the CDC reported 1.4 million and Guttmacher 1.6 million.
Southern Baptists’ lead ethicist Russell Moore commented on the rate of pro-life progress, saying, “The struggle for human rights for the unborn is a long one.”
‘Progress on some fronts’
“We have made progress on some fronts but there is much to be done,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “For Christians this is a matter of more than just culture and law. It’s a matter of whether we will see the face of Christ in our unborn neighbors and in their mothers.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) continues to resist the declining abortion rate.
PPFA’s latest annual report issued in late December 2014 showed its affiliates performed 327,653 abortions during the period from October 2012 to September 2013. That was an increase of nearly 500 from the previous year. PPFA also distributed 1.44 million “emergency contraception” kits, a decrease of about 150,000 over the previous year, with the “morning-after” pill designed to cause abortion.
Planned Parenthood reported only 1,880 adoption referrals, a decline of more than 300 from the previous year.
Institutional bias
Randall O’Bannon, the National Right to Life Committee’s director of education and research, commented on PPFA’s report, “[I]n a nutshell, even as the culture around them grows increasingly uncomfortable with their signature product, Planned Parenthood is as committed to abortion as it ever was and is looking for ways to defend and expand its abortion empire.”
The report shows Planned Parenthood’s “clear institutional bias” in favor of abortion, O’Bannon said. Its breakdown of services for pregnant women, he said, is prenatal care, 5.4 percent; adoption, 0.5 percent;               and abortion, 94.1 percent.
“For all their talk about ‘choice’ and allowing women to make their own determinations with regard to their [pregnancies], the services such women receive at PPFA clinics are decidedly one-sided,” O’Bannon said.
In other news about abortion:
-A total of 60 abortion clinics in the country closed permanently during 2014, according to a report by the pro-life organization Operation Rescue. Of those, 47 were surgical centers and 13 were facilities that provided only medication abortions. Another 13 clinics closed but were allowed to re-open during the year. Since 1991 the number of surgical abortion centers has declined by 75 percent, from 2,176 to 551, Operation Rescue reported.
-Louisiana gained the ranking as the country’s most pro-life state for the sixth consecutive year, Americans United for Life (AUL) announced Jan. 13. Following Louisiana in the top 10 states for protecting unborn children and their mothers through public policy were (in order): Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Texas. AUL ranked Washington as the least protective state for the sixth consecutive year. The next nine least protective states were (in order): Vermont, Oregon, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, New York, Montana, Nevada and Connecticut. States have enacted almost 220 laws in the last four years to protect women and unborn children, according to AUL.
New bill on abortion
-A new approach to restricting abortion was unveiled Jan. 14 when the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act was introduced in the Kansas Senate. The National Right to Life Committee predicted it “will transform the landscape of abortion policy” in America. Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life’s legislative director, said, “With the discussion about and passage of this bill the public will see that dismemberment abortions brutally and unacceptably rip apart small human beings who have all of their internal organs and who have perfectly formed fingers and toes.”
-Abortion training debuted on the Internet in October 2014. The University of California at San Francisco offered a free, six-week class to train future doctors how to perform the procedure. Nearly 3,000 people signed up for it. Donna Harrison, the executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said many doctors don’t refuse to do abortions because of a lack of education. “Any OB-GYN knows how to empty a uterus at any stage,” she said. “It’s just that most OB-GYNs recognize that there are two patients.” (BP) 

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