From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) come the latest statistics, and good news in the battle for the unborn. In 2009, the number of abortions fell by 5 percent from the previous year—the largest single-year decrease in a decade.
The big picture looks even better. Since the year 2000, the average annual number of abortions declined by 6 percent. The abortion rate, which is the number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15–44, dropped 7 percent to 15.1. And the abortion ratio—the number of abortions per 1,000 live births—experienced an 8 percent decrease to 227.
Released in November 2012 by the CDC, the 2009 numbers reflect an ongoing downward trend in abortions. The bad news is, 1.15 million abortions still were performed in 2009. But the victories are real, and I think it’s good for us to recognize and rejoice in them. The figures above are a shot of significant and encouraging data on the pro-life frontlines.
Of course, my first response to the CDC statistics is to ask why. Why are fewer women having abortions today than twelve years ago or even last year? It seems that no one really knows for sure, though both sides of the issue have their theories. Advocates for abortion rights chalk it up to sex education and family planning. But in a LifeNews.com article, Steven Ertelt wrote, “Abortions are on the decline thanks to pro-life laws, the work of pregnancy centers and shutting down abortion clinics and practitioners who run afoul of the law.”
According to a 2008 ABC News article, “Opponents [of abortion] say more women are coming to grips with the horror of abortion, in part because of the increasing numbers of so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which set up near abortion clinics and offer services like ultrasounds to convince women to keep their babies.
“‘This is a very powerful tool,’ anti-abortion activist Chris Slattery said of ultrasounds. ‘Now it's much harder for them to actually think of destroying a child.’”
While the reasons for the downward trend in abortions are probably multifaceted, the bottom line is simple: more U.S. women today are making personal choices to give birth rather than abort and to nurture life rather than destroy it. Sixty thousand more beautiful children were brought into the world rather than aborted in the womb in 2009 than in 2008. That’s easy to understand, and I think it’s worth celebrating.