Today is the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. We need a word for the commemoration of a bad event that we mark with the opposite of celebration: This is not a holiday, but an unholy day. Thousands will mourn the unholy day here in D. C. in frigid weather at the March for Life.
But perhaps we are seeing a little progress. A study of every abortion facility in the country has found that the number of abortions has declined sharply. From ABC News: Why Are Abortions Down in America?:
The study, conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, which researches issues related to reproductive health and sexuality, found that in 2005, the U.S. abortion rate fell to 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 44, the lowest level since 1974. The total number of abortions also declined, to a total of 1.2 million in 2005, well below the all-time high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990.
But the study raises a fascinating and tricky question: Why?
The researchers who conducted the study said they simply don’t know, but they do have two theories.
One reason could be that since people now have easier access to contraception — including emergency contraception like Plan B — there are fewer unwanted pregnancies.
Another reason could be that there are also fewer abortion clinics.
OR, maybe pro-lifers are winning the debate. It is absurd to take too much comfort when abortions are “only” numbering 1.2 million. Notice, though, how many recent movies are about “keeping” the baby, evidence perhaps of a cultural shift.
Today’s Washington Post is marking the anniversary with a celebratory article on the increasing use of RU-486, the abortion pill, which supposedly makes abortion easier.
“The impact and the promise is huge,” said Beth Jordan, medical director of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. “It’s going a long way towards normalizing abortion.”
But, from what I can tell from the article, abortions done by RU-486 are counted in the declining abortion statistics. So if abortion has become easier and more widely available, as the article claims, and yet are STILL going down, we may be making more progress in the battle for hearts and minds than we realize.