By Dave Andrusko
Posted elsewhere today at National Right to Life News Today is a terrific overview summary of the latest abortion report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC Director of Education & Research. The following is a supplement to his more thorough investigation of what the very welcomed continued drop in the number of abortions, abortion rate, and abortion ratio tell us.
*We should never, ever become blasé about a reduction in the number of babies lost to abortion, which can be tempting because the diminution has been going on for years and years. There was a 2% reduction from 2014 to 2015. These are 14,470 flesh and blood human beings who, largely because of a change in attitude spurred by your activism, are walking the earth today because their mothers chose life.
*Nor should you get confused by the contrast between the lower number of abortions reported by the CDC and by the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher is more aggressive in its reachout so its numbers are both higher and more accurate. What the CDC surveys do is provide insights into other dimensions of the abortion issue. Whichever set of figures we refer to, more babies are surviving.
*Remember the “1 in 3” women will have an abortion in their lifetime mantra? Referring to women who were between 15 and 44 in 2014, two Guttmacher Institute researchers (reporting in the American Journal of Public Health in 2017) predicted that nearly 1 in 4 would have an abortion by age 45, not 1 in 3.
*As Time magazine reported, “The CDC confirmed that the numbers recorded in 2015 accounted for both the lowest total number of abortions and the lowest rate of abortions for the entire 2006 to 2015 period of analysis.” As Dr. O’Bannon explained the abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. Reuters aborted that the 11.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 recorded for 2015 was “down 26 percent from 2006, when the study began and the rate was 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women.”
*The abortion ratio dropped as well between 2014 and 2015, continuing a steady trend. “Abortion ratios measure the relative number of pregnancies in a population that end in abortion compared with live birth,” as the CDC explained. This is extremely helpful information.
There were 188 abortions for every 1,000 live births in 2015. To put this in perspective, consider that in 1984, there 364.1 abortions for every 1,000 live births—that is a reduction in lost lives of almost half! Finally
*Doubling back to an earlier point—why! Barbara Goldberg of Reuters provided this explanatory quote from NRLC President Carol Tobias in her story: “That is due, in a significant way, to pro-life legislation that seeks to provide life-affirming solutions to abortion, combined with pro-life efforts that educate Americans about the effects of abortion and the humanity of the unborn child.”
Laws do matter—in a huge way— but pro-life measures do not get passed and signed into law without pro-life lawmakers. Thank you for all you do to keep the focus on both mother and unborn child.
Your labors are making a real, life-affirming difference.