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'Only' 862,000 Babies Killed In The U.S. In 2017

Live Action
A new report from the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That's down from 926,000 tallied in the group's previous report for 2014, and from just over 1 million counted for 2011.

According to NewsMax, Guttmacher is the only entity that strives to count all abortions in the U.S., making inquiries of individual providers. Federal data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention excludes California, Maryland and New Hampshire because those states don't compile comprehensive abortion data for the CDC.

According to the report, the 2017 abortion rate was 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 — the lowest rate since the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Following that ruling, the number of abortions in the U.S. rose steadily — peaking at 1.6 million in 1990 before starting a steady, still-continuing decline. The abortion rate is now less than half what is was in 1990.

Guttmacher noted that almost 400 state laws restricting abortion access were enacted between 2011 and 2017. But it said these laws were not the main force behind the overall decline in abortions. It said 57% of the nationwide decline occurred in the 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, that did not enact any new restrictions.

Michael New, an abortion opponent who teaches social research at Catholic University of America, said Guttmacher's report understated the role played by anti-abortion activism in reducing the number of abortions. In 1981, he said, 54% of women with unintended pregnancies opted for abortion. That number fell to 42% by 2011.

"This shows that pro-life efforts to change public opinion, assist pregnant women, and pass protective laws are all having an impact," New said in an email reported by NewsMax.

The report, which focuses on data from 2017, does not chronicle the flurry of sweeping abortion bans that were enacted earlier this year in several GOP-controlled states, including a near-total ban in Alabama and five bills that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. None of those bans has taken effect and their backers hope that litigation over the laws might eventually lead to a Supreme Court ruling weakening or overturning Roe v. Wade.

Overall, the total number of abortions fell by 196,000 over the past six years, with just over 500,000 of 2017 abortions carried out via abortion pills, as opposed to a surgical method.

The report suggested that increased availability of contraception, including long-term contraceptives such as intrauterine devices, not state laws restricting abortion, were responsible for the drop. This conclusion was disputed by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life organization, which suggested that cultural change over time has played a significant role.

“We welcome the new report showing the decline in both the abortion rate and the overall number of abortions from 2011 to 2017. There are several reasons for this positive news, including factors that Guttmacher does their best to ignore,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute in a report provided by catholinewsagency.com.

“American mothers are increasingly choosing life for their children, as well as choosing to identify themselves with the pro-life cause and pro-life policies. This includes the broad protections for women and children being enacted at the state level such as strengthened health and safety standards for abortion facilities, limits on public funding of abortion, parental involvement laws, and increased informed consent,” he added.

Donovan also expressed concern at the increasing percentage of women who opt to end their pregnancies using chemical abortifacients. This, he said, “reveals the abortion industry’s increasingly successful effort to cut the overhead costs of surgical abortion while still profiting off the destruction of unborn children and wounding of his or her mother.”

As Laura Nicole explained in an article for LiveAction.org, abortifacients are drugs that end the life of a preborn human being, either by primary or secondary means. “Emergency contraception drugs” have as a primary mechanism the prevention of ovulation, and as a secondary mechanism, the potential to prevent an already-fertilized embryo from implanting in the mother’s uterine lining (endometrium). If ovulation has occurred already, ECs can potentially function as abortifacients by flooding the mother’s body with a higher level of hormones than those present in hormonal contraception in order to prevent implantation.

“The industry’s migration to chemical self-abortion is deeply disturbing as it carries with it the possibility of increasing the overall abortion rate over time and also carries with it a higher rate of injury, about which women are often under informed or deceived,” he added according to the report cited above.

According to Live Action, 2,500 OB/GYNs with AAPLOG have testified that abortion — the purposeful, targeted killing of a preborn child — is never necessary to save a woman’s life. Over 1,000 medical experts also signed the Dublin Declaration, which affirms that abortion is not medically necessary, and, in part, reads, “We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.”

The push for tougher restrictions on abortion continues. Just last week, Texas Right to Life and some allied groups urged Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session of the Legislature to "abolish every remaining elective abortion" in the state.

We urge CHQ readers and friends to help save 862,000 human beings by keeping the pressure on lawmakers to end the crime of abortion. To learn five ways you can help go to LiveAction.org.

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