The pro-life movement is winning some major victories on the ground. The result is that abortion clinics are closing in record numbers.
From Tom Strode of the Baptist Press in Abortion Clinics Closing at Record Rate | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com:
This year, 42 clinics that provided surgical abortions have shut their doors, and two that offered chemical abortions by drugs also have closed, according to Operation Rescue, which monitors closings and health and safety violations by clinics nationwide. That number far surpasses the 25 surgical clinics shutdown last year and the 30 in 2011, by Operation Rescue’s count. While others estimate a smaller number of closings, the pattern is clear.
Some of the shutdowns have been of major clinics. For instance, Virginia’s No. 1 abortion provider closed, The Washington Post reported in July. NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax, Va., shut down after state and local governments enacted regulations the abortion provider appeared unable to meet. The northern Virginia clinic performed 3,066 abortions in 2012 and 3,567 in 2011.
The reasons given for the upswing in closings are varied even among pro-lifers. They include:
– the increasing state regulation and oversight of clinics;
– a growth in pro-life opinion and activity, and
– a decline in the abortion rate.
In some cases, clinics have shut down when abortion doctors retired or were no longer licensed.
State legislatures enacted 69 pro-life laws this year, according to a report released Thursday (Sept. 5) by Americans United for Life. In all, 48 states considered about 360 such proposals in 2013, AUL reported.
The legislative action this year continued a recent trend in states: 70 “life-affirming measures” became law in 2011 and 38 in 2012, according to AUL.
Some measures have targeted making the procedure and clinics safer for women, and have helped escalate the number of clinic shutdowns. This year, states such as Alabama, North Carolina and Texas passed varied laws either requiring abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as outpatient surgical centers, or authorizing the state to enforce such requirements. Also, in 2013, North Dakota and Wisconsin joined Alabama and Texas in mandating abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals.