By Heather Weininger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Right to Life
The long-awaited day finally arrived — the day we look for all year long. It’s the day the Wisconsin Department of Health Services releases its “Reported Induced Abortions” in Wisconsin annual report for the previous year. And, once again, Wisconsin abortions have decreased, this time by a whopping 6.7%!
In sheer numbers, it means that in 2013, 465 more babies were saved from abortion and their mothers spared a lifetime of emotional pain when compared to 2012. Wisconsin recorded 6,462 abortions in 2013, down from 6,927 in 2012. The Wisconsin abortion ratio of 10 abortions per 100 live births is half of the national number.
This report is essentially our Wisconsin Right to Life report card. Daily tasks can become mundane, routine – unless you work at organizations such as Wisconsin Right to Life where you realize that everything you do is geared towards pushing those numbers down.
How many babies can we save this year, we ask ourselves?
How do we do it? Our strategy is essentially three-pronged:
1. Good public policy. When WRTL considers legislation to promote, the first question asked is whether a proposed bill will save lives. We have enacted some of the most sophisticated, thoughtful laws in the country to further the interests of the woman while working to preserve her baby’s life. Work for both mother and baby and success follows.
2. Far-reaching educational programs. The centerpiece of WRTL educational outreach are positive messages repeated over and over with information on where to find resources and alternatives. We have a proven track record of ensuring that a strong, pro-life message is available for women of childbearing age. Using media outlets we can achieve around 70 million ad viewings and Internet contacts annually.
3. Youth, youth and more youth. Our Internet programs are heavily weighted towards reaching youth. WRTL youth leadership programs are flagship for the country. In addition, major studies and poll data indicate that American young people are pro-life! They are savvy and curious and don’t fall for the outdated pro-abortion rhetoric of the past. Pro-life attitudes mean less likelihood that an abortion will occur.
It is gratifying to know that 465 babies sleep peacefully in their beds — that they have a future — because their mothers chose life. Our role in achieving this outcome surpasses any other activity we can imagine. It is an incredible privilege to do this work to further the human rights of the most vulnerable members of the human family.