By Dave Andrusko
By the time you finish this post I trust you will be persuaded that the December edition of the “Pro-life newspaper of record” is must reading that must be shared with all your pro-life family and friends.
NRL News never under-reports life-affirming stories that warm the heart of any pro-lifer. Here are just three of many examples. “The belief that life has infinite, irreplaceable value–as plain as a red sweater on a newborn baby’s back”; “Pro-life mom beats world record for fastest half-marathon while pushing baby stroller”; and “Premature baby given hours to live makes miraculous recovery.” (See pages 5 and 14.)
The superb scholarship of Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon is all over this edition. For starters, no one does a better job of analyzing abortion numbers than our Director of Education & Research. Everything you need to know about the latest CDC numbers begins on page 8. (More about that below.)
One of the most promising pro-life initiatives is Abortion Pill Reversal. We have two stories about how women who change their minds in the middle of a chemically-induced abortion have a realistic chance of saving their babies. (See pages 12 and 32.)
Of course, with the politics of 2020 on everyone’s mind, we have a slew of stories, starting with the ill-starred, wholly political impeachment process originated by pro-abortion House Democrats. (See pages 1, 27, 28, and 37.)
And we have multiple stories about the Supreme Court. First, the justices chose not to review a lower court decision that upheld Kentucky’s ultrasound law. Second, we explore further the High Court’s decision to review a challenge to Louisiana’s law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. (See pages 7 and 13.)
There’s much more, but I would like to add some thoughts to what Dr. O’Bannon wrote about the abortion numbers produced by the Centers for Disease Control.
By now, you may know many of the basics. I will summarize them very, very briefly, before moving on to other facets of abortion in America.
*The CDC, unlike Guttmacher, publishes numbers yearly. The trade off is Guttmacher’s numbers (which are released roughly every third year) are more accurate.
Why? Unlike the CDC, which relies on the kindness of state health departments (some of the largest states ignore the CDC), Guttmacher actively engages abortion facilities. That’s why it estimates there were 862,320 abortions in 2017 while the CDC’s numbers for 2016 were 623,471.
*The CDC (as did Guttmacher) tells us that the number of abortions, the number of abortions for women of child-bearing age (the abortion rate), and the number of abortions for every thousand live births (the abortion ratio) have dropped to “historic lows.”
Every lost baby is one too many, but this is incredibly important news.
None of these components could not have reached “historic lows” unless we had helped establish a new vocabulary about the littlest Americans, and a more complex understanding about whose life is taken, and a deeper recognition that –whatever position a woman or a man ultimately takes—“one of us” is destroyed in every abortion.
Pro-abortionists can attribute virtually all of the decline is almost exclusively explained why the wider use of more effective contraceptives. (NRLC has no position on contraception.) But it’s not so. For one thing, the number of repeat abortions continues to remain alarmingly high even as other categories continue to decline.
For another, as National Review pointed out, “Data from Guttmacher show that between 1981 and 2011, the percentage of unintended pregnancies that resulted in an abortion fell from approximately 54 percent to 42 percent.” Also, as Dr. O’Bannon explained, “It’s not just that there are fewer abortions, but that fewer women who become pregnant are turning to abortion.”
Put another way, hypothetically you could have a higher number of abortions just because you have a larger population of women ages 15-44 or a much lower number just because this population of women of child-bearing age decreased.
But the abortion ratio gets around this problem of how frequently pregnant women are choosing life over abortion. It tells us the number of abortions for every 1,000 live births.
According to the CDC, there were just 186 abortions for every 1,000 live births. The abortion ratio reached a peak of 364.1 for every 1,000 live births in 1984!!
*Let me quote directly from Dr. O’Bannon’s analysis:
By far, the largest percentage of abortions were those performed on women in their twenties: a total of 58.5% on women 20-29. Of these 30% were performed on women aged 20-24, 28.5% for women 25-29. About a third (28.3%) were to women in their thirties and just a small percentage (3.5%) were to women aged 40 and older.
Those aged 19 and younger were responsible for less than one in ten (9.7%) of all abortions. Two-thirds of those (according to a separate CDC table) were performed on the oldest teenagers–18 or 19.
The CDC shows that the portion of abortions going to younger teens has been decreasing in the last ten years along with their rates and ratios, demonstrating the continued impact of parental involvement laws.[Underlining added.]
Protective laws make a difference, which is why pro-abortionists fight them tooth and nail. Involving parents in the abortion decision of minors (specially 17 and under) makes a huge difference, which is why the Abortion Lobby pulls out all the horror stories to try to combat passage of laws requiring teens to tell their parents–with provisos for judicial bypass should there be genuine reasons for a minor not to tell a parent.
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