Friday, January 25, 2008

Choosing Children over Choice

Newest numbers on abortion show procedure at its lowest rate since 1974

Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) released new research on the number of children who never saw a birth day. An AGI survey of all known abortion "providers" in the United States brought some good news: The 2005 abortion rate-that is, the number of terminations per 1,000 women ages 15-44 was at its lowest ebb since 1974, the year after Roe, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. The 1.2 million abortions performed in 2005 were the lowest total since a high of 2.6 million in 1990, and a signal that the number of abortion overall is still declining.

But 1.2 million DEAD babies is also bad news. Tragic news. America has had abortion going back probably to 1629, and a roller-coaster experience since then: a sharp rise in abortions in the mid-19th century, then a slow to rise to the 1950s. A sharp rise in the 1960s followed that. Then came Roe and an abortion skyrocket that peaked in 1990.

AGI, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, has chronicled the decline since then. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also tallies abortion totals, but AGI's numbers are considered more accurate because they survey both hospitals and all known stand-alone abortion clinics. The CDC relies on state health department reports, and some jurisdictions, such as California, don't report at all, creating a data gap of more than a quarter-million abortions, before the counting begins. According to AGI's latest report , released Jan. 17, the number of abortions in America declined 9 percent between 2000 and 2005. The last year in which the number of abortions was lower was 1976.

One big reason for the decline may be the growth of pro-life pregnancy resource centers lef by committed women and volunteers such as Wanda Kohn, WORLD MAGAZINES 2007 Daniel of the Year (see "Frontline dispatches," Dec. 15, 2007). Care-Net, the nation's biggest umbrella organization for such groups, has made development of urban centers a priority, and so has Hearbeat, another large group.

A constant over the centuries is the legal change has an impact on abortion, but cultural change probably makes even more of a difference. Abortion rose in the mid-19th century despite its illegality. In 1860, with the advent of large cities, abundant prostitution, and a substantial 19th-century New Age Movement ) then called "spiritism"), the United States in proportion to its population probably had as many abortions as it now had, perhaps 260,000 in a population of 30 million. (One big difference between now and then is that most mid-19th-century abortions occurred among prostitutes, who probably averaged four per year. Nevertheless, the overall number surprises many. Interested readers should see Abortion Rites: A social History of Abortion in American, a book based on a year of research at the Liberty of Congress.) The late 19th-century growth of abstinence movements, "rescue homes," and compassionate help, supported by stronger laws and tighter enforcement, reduced the incidence of abortion by at least 50 percent. Since 1990, the number of abortions has fallen 25 percent, and that trend should continue as abortion alternatives grow, protective laws (such as those requiring parental consent and waiting periods) become more common, and ultrasounds allow more parents to see their babies in the womb. - MARVIN OLASKY

Its good to hear that abortion numbers are dropping but it is still sad and shocking to hear the number of baby's aborted are still large. You can get more information and resources at Heart Beats. It is a great organization our church works with. So I leave with these verses.

Jeremiah 1:5
I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the word.

Psalm 139:13-16
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

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