The Associated Press reports that the number of abortions is down 5% nationwide. This good news is somewhat mitigated by the fact that there are still about 1 million abortions performed every year in the United States. We can be thankful for the small decrease in the number of abortions, but make no mistake. An incalculable human slaughter continues.
The report is quick to credit birth control use as a primary reason for the decrease in abortions, not the passage of recent laws restricting abortions. There’s no statistical evidence in the report to support this claim. Nevertheless, the author clearly suggests that laws restricting abortion are ineffective. This is a non sequitur that is undermined by the following paragraph from the report:
Mississippi had the lowest abortion rate, at 4 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age. The state also had only a couple of abortion providers, and has the nation’s highest teen birth rate. New York was highest, with abortion rates roughly eight times higher than Mississippi’s. New York is second only to California in number of abortion providers.
In other words, the state with the lowest abortion rate is the place that has limited access to legal abortions. The state with the highest abortion rate is the place with the second widest access to legal abortions. That means that increasing access correlates with increasing rates of abortion. Nevertheless, some people still wish to suggest that restricting access to abortion has no demonstrable effect on abortion rates. That argument seems pretty facile to me.
The report also notes, “The majority of abortions are performed by the eighth week of pregnancy, when the fetus is about the size of a lima bean.” I think lines like this one are thrown in reports like this to give the impression that early abortions only involve the termination of a blob of cells. It is a subtle attempt to dehumanize the unborn. To put this false claim into perspective, keep in mind that an 8-week old fetus has a beating heart and looks something like the picture at top right. That’s what 8-weeks look like, and anyone with eyes can see that it’s a person. A very small person, but a person nonetheless.
Abortion is the greatest human rights crisis of our time. Roe v. Wade has presided over the legal killing of over 50 million unborn humans since 1973. As long as it is legal, the slaughter will continue. Don’t believe the facile arguments about the ineffectiveness of restricting access. And don’t believe the euphemizers who deny the humanity of the unborn by likening them to a lima bean. They are human beings, and their lives deserve to be protected in law just as much as yours or mine.