WASHINGTON – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, issued a new report, “The State of Abortion in America.” The report summarizes key legislative developments at the state and federal levels, finds that the annual number of abortions continues to decline, and shows that a majority continue to oppose the vast majority of abortions allowed under the doctrine of Roe v. Wade.
“While the most recent data indicate a decrease in the annual number of abortions, tragically, more than 3,000 unborn children are still killed every day in the United States under the legal doctrine of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “As we observe the 41st anniversary of the twin decisions that legalized abortion in America, the pro-life movement remains committed to restoring legal protection to unborn children and providing help and support to their mothers.”
As noted in the report, on the basis of the most recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and by the Guttmacher Institute (originally founded as a special research arm of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America), National Right to Life estimates that there have been more than 56 million abortions in America since 1973, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.
The report also observes that after reaching an all-time high of over 1.6 million in 1990, the number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. appear to have dropped to around 1.1 million a year.
This drop in the annual number of abortions can be traced to pro-life legislative efforts at the state and federal level that have raised awareness about the humanity of the unborn child These laws not only encourage life-affirming alternatives to abortion, they seek to inform and empower women facing unexpected pregnancy.
“Laws enacted at the federal and state levels have helped immensely in reversing the disturbing trend established by Roe and Doe,” observed Tobias. “As just one example, it is estimated that the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in the Medicaid program, has saved well over one million unborn children since it was first enacted in 1976.”
The report also discusses National Right to Life’s major legislative priority, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The legislation breaks new ground in the fight to protect mothers and their unborn children by acknowledging the large body of scientific evidence showing that unborn children are capable of feeling excruciating pain by at least 20 weeks after fertilization and recognizing that states have compelling interest to protect these pain-capable unborn children.
As discussed in the report, the NRLC model legislation has now been enacted in 10 states. In addition, a federal version of the bill has been introduced, and National Right to Life has declared it to be the organization’s top legislative priority for the current Congress.
“Abortion remains widely available. But after years of being told that abortion was ‘the best choice’ or ‘their only choice,’ women are learning that there are alternatives to abortion that affirm their lives and the lives of their children,” added Tobias. “The bottom line is simple: the right-to-life movement is succeeding because even after 41 years and more than 56 million abortions, the conscience of our nation knows that killing unborn children is wrong.”
The report is available from the National Right to Life Communications Department.