The good news about abortion is that for the first time in years the number of abortions performed seems to be dropping. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control released abortion figures (from 47 states but not including Maryland, New Hampshire, or California) and that number has declined -- continuing a trend. The numbers an estimatee of the rate of abortions at 12.5 per woman of child-bearing age (15-44), and the ratio of abortions at 200 per 1,000 live births. The bad news is that this seems to mirror an overall decline in the birth rate.
There is worse news. There has been an increase in the number of countries allowing a person to decide for physician assisted suicide when they decide the living is too painful. In a few, this judgment is allowed to be made by children. In very few does it require a medical prognosis that the affliction will be fatal. Chronic conditions may be used to justify a choice to end a life.
The birth rate is declining because access to contraception, including the morning after pill, is increasing. Fewer children are being conceived and so there are fewer abortions as a result -- at least in developing countries -- but the numbers of children aborted continues to increase world-wide -- reaching toward 58 Million annually!
Life is the issue -- life from its conception to natural death. Life is under assault -- at all stages along the line. The cause continues not only anti-abortion but pro-life at every stage. It is not about a choice but about a value assigned to life that prevents us from treating any lives as superfluous or expendable before the so-called higher values of pleasure or convenience.
Although the numbers are hard to determine, it does seem that more and more businesses are desiring to exit the debate entirely and are ending corporate sponsorship of abortion providers (think Planned Parenthood) in order to prevent unwanted publicity.
Ohio is on the vanguard of legislative attempts to restrict access to abortion once the beating heart is detected or viability determined (about 20 weeks) yet every effort to provide legal protection to the child in the womb is met with legal challenge and threat.
Clearly it is not just laws that must change but minds. While our pro-life position is informed by our religious beliefs, it is not simply a religious cause. The sacred character of life has remained on the most profound causes for just societies -- at least until the issue of abortion became framed as a woman's right to choose for her own body. Neither can we sigh with relief that abortions are declining since that decline means that the use and effectiveness of contraception has increased and some of the means to prevent pregnancy actually are merely means to prevent an embryo from attaching to the womb (provoking a spontaneous abortion).
So pray this day that the trend of lower abortions continues even as you rally for the cause of protecting all life at all stages.