Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

Good news, bad news on abortion statistics

Abortion | Fewer babies are dying, but more pregnant women are using RU-486
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/26/18, 05:01 pm

The overall abortion rate in the United States continues to sink lower than ever, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But data also show a growing, sinister threat to babies from abortion-inducing drugs.

For every 1,000 U.S. women, there were about 12 abortions in 2015, the most recent year analyzed by the CDC. That rate fell by 2 percent compared to 2014 and is the lowest reported annual rate since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The CDC counted 188 babies aborted for every 1,000 live births for an annual total of 638,169 abortions.

“This new abortion data from the CDC should hearten pro-lifers across the country and give them some encouragement to continue their lifesaving work,” Michael New, an associate scholar at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, wrote for National Review.

While the decline gives pro-lifers a reason to celebrate, it only applies to surgical abortions, in which an abortionist physically removes a baby from the womb. So-called medical abortions, in which the mother takes a pill that causes a miscarriage, increased from 123,254 in 2014 to 142,094 in 2015. The number of drug-induced abortions has risen by 75 percent in the last 10 years—in 2006, there were only 81,430.

Abortionists market the medication method to women as a safer, simpler alternative to surgical abortion, but the pills can cause intense pain and bleeding.

Abby Johnson, a former abortion worker and the head of the pro-life group And Then There Were None, sounded an alarm about the increased use of abortion drugs such as RU-486, or mifepristone.

“I was careful to steer women away from this drug when I worked at Planned Parenthood because of the debilitating pain it put women through,” Johnson said. Despite that, the Food and Drug Administration in 2016 relaxed restrictions on abortion pills by lowering the required dose, dropping the number of required in-person visits from three to two, and allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe them. The number of medication abortions reported to the CDC will likely soar when 2016 numbers come out next year.

California, Maryland, and New Hampshire do not participate in the CDC’s data collection, so the numbers are much higher in reality. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute estimated 157,350 babies were aborted in California in 2014. Even fewer states report the breakdown between drug-induced and surgical abortions.

“It’s always good news when abortions decline, but these numbers are hard to take seriously when the state that performs the most abortions is not included in the report,” Johnson said of California’s numbers. “There is also no record of the many complications of abortion that women experience, likely because those instances are shoved under the mat in many abortion clinics.”

Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite Pro-life demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June

Indiana, we hear you

Attorneys general from 19 states filed a friend of the court brief this month asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold an Indiana law protecting babies from abortions based on race, sex, or potential disability.

In April, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Indiana law, which also required the dignified disposal of aborted babies’ bodies. Indiana appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last month.

“The States have the solemn duty and sovereign right to protect the dignity of all human beings within their borders,” the brief said. It called the 7th Circuit’s decision “an unprecedented, unlawful hostility to the States’ authority to honor human life and dignity.”

The pro-life Thomas More Society legal group also filed an amicus brief, saying that abortions in the United States are rife with racism, sex-selective practices, and discrimination against people with disabilities.

Sarah Pitlyk, an attorney with the organization, called the Indiana law “a reasonable legislative response to odious social practices,” adding, “No humane civilization can support racism, sexism, or eugenics by any method, and it’s hard to imagine how anyone could object to the respectful treatment of human remains.”

The states behind the brief are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. —Samantha Gobba

Across the nation

Mississippi: U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled last week against Mississippi’s law that protected unborn babies from abortion after 15 weeks of gestation. He pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s strong precedent of allowing states to protect the unborn only after they can survive outside the womb. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said he will appeal the ruling.

Louisiana: A law similar to Mississippi’s remains on hold in Louisiana, pending the outcome in Mississippi’s court battle.

Ohio: The state House of Representatives is considering a bill that would protect all unborn children from abortion. Under House Bill 565, abortionists as well as women who abort their babies could face murder charges. On Nov. 15, the House passed the so-called “heartbeat bill,” which would protect babies as early as six weeks of gestation if they had a detectable heartbeat. Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who considers himself pro-life, said he won’t sign the law because it won’t stand up to a court challenge.

New Mexico: Democrats are seeking to repeal the state’s law protecting children from abortions except in cases of rape, birth defects, or serious threat to the mother’s health. The law is not in effect, but pro-abortion legislators worry it could be if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision granting women the right to abortion until the baby could live outside the womb. —S.G.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • Buddy's picture
    Posted: Tue, 11/27/2018 01:13 pm

    With over 80% of US abortions on unwed women, their desire to fornicate is a powerful, porn like motivation that overpowers their normal mother, child loving relationship. The Bible says three times in the new testament to avoid fornication? Who in our society is addressing this? Most all abortions start with fornication. How long is God going to allow this?

  • Nat Manzanita
    Posted: Tue, 11/27/2018 06:22 pm

    @Buddy: Isn't it probable that in many cases it's the man's desire for sex that drives the fornication? I think it often happens that the woman wants emotional affection rather than sex, but the man demands sex as the price for his affection -- which he later on refuses to give. I'm inclined to regard abortion as substantially a crime of the father. Suppose a woman is planning to abort her unborn child, and the father of the child says to her, "I disrespected you by having sex without committing myself to you for life, but I'm sorry now and I want to make it right. I want to marry you and love and support you as long as I live." How many women would still abort if the child's father stepped up to his duty as a man?

  • Laura W
    Posted: Sat, 12/01/2018 02:12 am

    Exactly. Sometimes the father does object to abortion and finds himself powerless to save his child, but such men are far too few. Sometimes's they're even the ones pressuring and threatening the woman into having the abortion in the first place.