As someone who owned a small business for over 25 years, I feel for the owners when I hear about a business closing. I know what it is like to experience lulls in business and realize profit margins are going down instead of up. Closing a business is never an easy decision.
However, when I read news reports last week that Planned Parenthood had just announced they were closing three clinics in New Mexico and four in Iowa, I did a happy dance! The best part of the news is that no one will suffer due to these closings, including unborn babies, as there are numerous healthcare clinics in the same areas available to provide the full range of services women need without performing abortions.
I did a little bit more research and discovered that, since January of 2017, four additional clinics have already been closed by Planned Parenthood, including one in Wyoming, one in Maryland, and two in Pennsylvania. Operation Rescue also reports an additional 8 clinics closing that are owned by other abortion providers in Kentucky, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, California, Louisiana, Virginia, and New Mexico. Combined all together, that means there are 19 fewer facilities across the United States doing abortions or referring women to sister clinics.
But it gets better… imagine my surprise when I began reading LifeNews.com this week and learned that two more clinics in Colorado are also closing their doors! That means a total of twenty-one abortion facilities will no longer being killing babies nor hurting their mothers.
The article this week also noted that in the past ten years Planned Parenthood has closed 200 facilities nationwide, including 27 last year in 2016.
My happy dance has turned in to a full fledged dance party!
The clinic closings also got me wondering about the abortion rates – if there are fewer clinics performing abortions are there fewer pregnancies being terminated?
There is good news there, too, but it is much harder to see it, due to inconsistencies in reporting by different agencies. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has one set of numbers based on abortion statistics submitted by each state, however not all states submit their data consistently every year. Then there is the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), which is directly affiliated with Planned Parenthood. They get their data directly from the abortion clinic, which causes many people to question the reliability of their statistics, as they possibly may be inflated.
What I did see clearly is that both sets of data indicate that there are fewer abortions being performed, which means fewer babies dying and fewer women being traumatized by the procedure.
For example, the CDC reports that in 2004, there were 839,226 abortions in the “selected reporting areas” and in 2013, there were 664,435 cases of abortion reported in the “selected reporting areas”. That means there are thousands of children alive as their mothers chose life for them!
Using the approximate same time frame, AGI reports 926,240 abortions took place in the United States in 2014, down from 1.06 million in 2011, 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.2 million in 2005, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S.
While each set of numbers is substantially different, they are both heading in the right direction – downward!
It seems women do not want abortions at the rate they once did and, as Planned Parenthood’s customer base dwindles, so do the number of clinics needed to perform abortions. I am grateful that this generation of women are making better choices than my generation did. As defenders of life, we need to celebrate this good news and see it as encouragement to stay strong in standing for life.
Written by Georgette Forney, President of Anglicans for Life and Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign