Reflections on the Guttmacher Report, One Day Later

By Dave Andrusko

Imagine you are the movers and shakers at the Guttmacher Institute. Formerly the research arm of Planned Parenthood, but now, as an “independent” think tank, your abortion statistics are treated almost reverentially, as if they came from a quasi-objective source.

The 44th anniversary of Roe is rapidly approaching–for Guttmacher, a kind of secular holiday. But two days prior, a man who has pledged to nominate only pro-life jurists to the Supreme Court will be inaugurated, for Guttmacher the worst possible news.

In your hands are the abortion numbers you’ve assembled for 2013 and 2014. Both years show the number has dropped under a million, symbolically as well as substantially, a huge milestone. Outside those who make a living killing unborn babies and defending the practice, what could be better news than fewer abortions?

So why release the figures yesterday, as opposed to a week ago or a week from now? Only Guttmacher knows the reason, but surely the motivation was not to hail the drop of 673, 800 from the number of aborted babies who were aborted in 1990.

We talked about the report yesterday in two separate posts. NRL News Today will offer two more today. Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of education and research, will go through the results with a fine-tooth comb.

Here are additional preliminary highlights.

As Tom Strode noted

The abortion rate reached its zenith at 29.3 [ per 1,000 women of child bearing age] in 1980 and ’81, and the total number of abortions peaked at more than 1.6 million in 1990, according to Guttmacher.

By contrast, in 2014, the abortion rate was 14.6/1,000 women ages 15-44 which explains the drop to 926,200 abortions.

The authors of the Guttmacher report, Rachel Jones and Jenna Jerman, were honest enough to concede that their favorite explanation for any decrease in abortion–an increase in contraception–doesn’t explain it all. They tell us

State efforts to restrict abortion have maintained their momentum, and states have enacted hundreds of new restrictions pertaining to abortion since 2011.

Legislation requires pro-life legislators. Education, support for women, passage of pro-life laws, and political activity together explain why abortions dropped under the million figure in 2013 for the first time since 1975.

What else? With pro-abortion Barack Obama ensconced in the White House, pro-life measures faced a daunting task. But passing measures, even if they could not get past Obama, was important for many reasons.

Looking ahead Jones and Jerman make a keen observation:

When it comes to restricting abortion, Congress and the Trump administration have ready-made options that have either already been attempted at the federal level in recent years or were pioneered in the states.

Just to mention three: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the law in16 states; the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, on the books in six states; and defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions.

As we noted yesterday, Guttmacher and the Abortion Industry for which it fronts laments the decline. Everyone else knows this is good for unborn babies, their mothers, and the nation.

Well done, pro-lifers.