Pro-life groups have reason for measured happiness as 2017 saw the lowest number of reported abortions since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there were 612,719 abortions in 2017, a 57 percent decrease since 1990, when abortion peaked at 1,429,247. Abortion numbers have been trending downward for many years, although that number unfortunately ticked back up to 619,591 in 2018. (Note: The CDC numbers are not entirely accurate, as California, Maryland, and New Hampshire all refused to submit their numbers.)
The 2017 number is the lowest annual rate since abortion became legal in 1973, when there were 615,831 reported abortions, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
Dr. Michael New, an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), tweeted that the numbers represent a nearly 25 percent decrease since 2009. The previously mentioned three states also did not report in 2009 so this drop is accurate and real.
The decline was widespread, according to New. “Of the 45 states that reported abortion data in 2016 and 2018, 29 saw their abortion rates decline. Since 2009, there has been a 24.2 percent decline in the abortion rate and a 21.8 percent decline in the number of abortions performed. The U.S. abortion rate has declined by over 50 percent since 1980.”
He credited pro-life activists and pregnancy centers for the decrease. A study by CLI showed that in 2019 crisis pregnancy centers provided nearly two million people with free services. New explained:
“The main reason why abortion rates are falling is not because there are fewer unintended pregnancies. In fact, the unintended pregnancy rate has fluctuated since 1981. An important reason is that a higher percentage of unintended pregnancies are being carried to term. This shows the pro-life educational, service, and yes, legislative efforts have all been effective at reducing the incidence of abortion.”
Pro-life activist Lila Rose tweeted, “Amazing data from @CDCgov,” noting that since 1990 the number of children killed by abortion has declined by 57 percent and more women are rejecting abortion in unplanned pregnancy situations.
She encouraged her followers to continue “educating, supporting, advocating & legislating until every life is safe!”
The data also showed that abortion continues to disproportionately affect the black community. White women had an estimated 239,782 abortions in 2018 while black women had 208,183 abortions.
Any drop in the abortion rate is worth celebrating, and all pro-life advocates who educate, counsel, march, give, and pray deserve gratitude and to know that their efforts are working. Every life saved is beautiful, and one life alone is worth all the money, prayers, and time in the world.
However, the victory rings somewhat hollow because our nation did kill 619,591 babies in 2018, not counting the three non-reporting states, which likely had thousands of additional abortions. Genocide is still taking place.
To have over 600,000 babies murdered in a year is one of the most horrific tragedies ever committed, and yet it takes place every year. The pro-life movement is winning battles, but must fight on. We who are already working must double our efforts. No Christian can sit idly by. Every pastor should speak out on this issue.
Praise God for a drastic drop in abortions since 1990! Shame on us that the number is so high still. By electing Donald Trump in 2016 and through his appointment of conservative judges, state laws restricting abortion have a chance to be upheld now. It remains to be seen exactly what a Biden/Harris administration will do to try to ramp up abortion privileges (if they win), but try they will, so the pro-life movement must prepare now for a new round of battles.
In the meantime, pray that the gains made in protecting innocent life won’t be lost.
Check out this episode of the Falkirk Center podcast with Christine Yeargin on how the pro-life movement wins: