The Arizona Department of Health Services recently made public to the Center for Arizona Policy the department’s statistics for abortions in the state over the last year. There was a precipitous drop in abortions over the last two months – just after the August 11 decision of the Arizona Court of Appeals affirming the constitutionality of the Abortion Consent Act in a case argued by the Alliance Defense Fund along with the state attorney general and the Speaker of the House, and Planned Parenthood’s ensuing August 18 announcement that it was ceasing chemical (“RU-486”) abortion services in seven clinics statewide.
From August 2010 to August 2011 there were 15,632 reported abortions in the state, or an average of 1,202 per month. In August – when the last two weeks were under the newly implemented restrictions and Planned Parenthood had shuttered its chemical abortion procedures in all but three clinics – there were 1,069 abortions, or 133 fewer lives lost in the second half of that month compared with the monthly average. Naturally, there are fluctuations in the numbers reported from month to month, and the decline in August could have been put down to a seasonal variation or a fluke. But last August’s figure was 1,201, right at the monthly average. And last month, in September, abortions plummeted to 729 – 473 fewer lives lost compared with the average.
By this account, by God’s grace, the efforts of Alliance Defense Fund and our many allies in the state, including the Center for Arizona Policy, the Bioethics Defense Fund and the Arizona Catholic Conference, have already saved hundreds of lives, and may save well over two thousand lives over the next year.
One life lost is too many, and our work is just beginning. But this amply proves, once again, that good pro-life laws save lives. If these figures continue to reflect a real change in the rate of abortion in the coming months and years, the legislatures of other states who desire to affirm respect for life need to sit up and take notice. Arizona’s Abortion Consent Act is a well-drafted piece of legislation that has passed muster in both the federal and state court systems, a proven result generated by the “laboratory of the States” our federal system was designed to produce.
This post originally appeared here.