Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Only" 1.2 Million Abortions Last Year

It is cause for celebration: That there are 300,000 fewer pre-borns killed in abortions now than there were in 1990. We are now at about the same abortion rate as we were in 1974, the first year after Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure.

That would be 1.2 million abortions annually, as one in five women who become pregnant choose abortion, down from one in three.

Whenever seeing data like this (reported by the LATimes from a Guttmacher Institute study), you have to ask if it's good data. Guttmacher is a pro-abortion place that has received funding from Planned Parenthood, but the article reports (without citing sources) that "Abortion opponents, however, generally view its statistics as reliable."

See the Guttmacher package on the study here.

Why the drop? Abortion-lovers will point to the drop in abortion clinics (down 15%) as if anti-abortion forces closed them down, as opposed to falling demand for the clinic's specialty. But it's a bogus argument because the fall-off in demand is due at least in significant part to the availability of prescription abortions, which offer all the convenience of killing your baby in the privacy of your own bathroom.

Certainly, availability of contraception is a big part of it, but the pro-abortionists are overlooking three certain and one possible cause for the drop:
  • Improved ultrasounds that make it hard for the mom to buy the "it's just a bit of protoplasm" propaganda from the abortionists when they are looking at the baby's fingernails

  • Related, the dramatic growth of crisis pregnancy centers that offer consulting, free diapers, encouragement ... and ultrasounds

  • Greater acceptance of what we used to quaintly call "out of wedlock" babies, as evidenced by the film Juno.

  • And maybe, just maybe, a greater degree of spiritual connection with God, and the greater understanding that the abortee is His creation, not just the mom's.
Interestingly, the article says Planned Parenthood's latest political manual indicates a backing off from strident fights for abortion:
A political tactics manual recently developed for Planned Parenthood asserts that voters respond well to such issues -- especially when they're framed with buzzwords like "prevention," "protection" and "personal responsibility."

Dwell too much on abortion, and the broader liberal agenda will bog down, said Kathy Bonk, a consultant who developed the strategy. "It matters where you start the conversation," she said. "If you start on abortion, you don't get off abortion."
Let me just note in passing that Bonk is a perfect name for a sexual agenda consultant.

Notice that Bonk is telling Planned Parenthood that it must rewrite the language -- always a key component of a political campaign -- by redefining "personal responsibility" from its current meaning of "don't get pregnant" to a new meaning of "having all the means at your disposal, no matter your age or circumstances, to enable you to prevent having a baby." They want "personal responsibility" to mean being able to have an abortion, whereas the phrase really means taking control of your life so you can avoid having to have an abortion.

But it seems all this is happening well outside the political purview of Planned Parenthood because:
Oregon, for instance, was rated this week by Americans United for Life as the nation's "least pro-life state," yet its abortion rate dropped 25% from 2000 to 2005 -- more than any state except Wyoming.

California also was ranked hostile territory by Americans United for Life, but its abortion rate fell 13%, significantly more than the national average. "Abortion rate" refers to the number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
How do you raise funds to promote abortion if the states in which you're most successful at doing that have such dramatic drops in the procedure?

But looked at from the other side, if one assumes that pro-life protesters outside abortion clinics have helped lead to the drop-off in the number of clinics, how do pro-lifers deal with doctors offices anonymously tucked from sea to shining sea writing prescriptions for abortion pills?

To me, the data indicates that the abortion issue has settled down for the long haul. There is no golden middle path here, no way for politicians to bring the sides together. So the Supreme Court matters, the effectiveness of the opposing sides' advocacy and reach matters ... and most of all, how society affects the heart of the mother matters.

The battleground, moms' hearts, is a vast, complex and sensitive place far removed from Senate hearings over SCOTUS nomination hearings. It's the battlefield where, clearly, the "rip it out" side is losing ground to the "love it" side.