This is what I hope for. That abortion rates would go down because women stop choosing abortion. Of course, here in Canada, thanks to our shoddy abortion statistics, we will never know whether the abortion rate is going up or down, for realsies.
In the states, the pro-choice Guttmacher has said recently that the abortion rate is going down. They say it is because of increased contraception use, among other reasons I disagree with, but here we have a piece that asks whether maybe it’s simply because women don’t want ’em.
I dream of a day when every woman has the reaction that I would have to someone suggesting I get an abortion, which is the banality of evil in action. (While what I am about to write remains purely theoretical for this instance my responses might include anything from lawsuits to swearing to an interrogation the likes of which the MD would never have seen before. An interrogation that would rise above the zeal of one Ezra Levant in the Human Rights Commission office. Ah yes, happy times, for the unsuspecting MD who makes that suggestion to me.)
Interestingly, none of these analysts is willing to consider that shifts in public opinion on abortion may be playing a role. May of 2009 was the first time that a majority of Americans identified themselves as “pro-life” in a Gallup survey. “Pro-life” has outpolled “pro-choice” six out of nine times since the spring of 2009. The relationship between public opinion toward abortion and abortion rates is not well-researched, but it’s a theory that merits more attention from analysts.
Media outlets have paid considerable attention to the abortion decline the occurred between 2008 and 2011, but have generally given less attention to the fact that the abortion rate has declined by 35 percent since the early 1990s. This suggests the debate has shifted toward pro-lifers: It’s true that contraceptive use has increased since the early 1990s, but that was increasing well before the abortion rate started to decline. More important, data from both Guttmacher and the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the unintended-pregnancy rate has remained fairly stable since the mid 1990s.
Since the abortion rate is falling while the unintended-pregnancy rate is stable, a higher percentage of women facing unintended pregnancies are choosing to carry their children to term. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services support this, pro-lifers should take heart in it.
Regardless of what mainstream-media analysts may say, declining abortion numbers provide evidence that pro-life efforts to change the hearts and minds of women facing unplanned pregnancies are bearing fruit — and, more important, saving lives.