Liberals have done everything they can to make abortion more appealing. They’ve added spa robes and hot tea. They made it available on Skype, by carry-out, through pills. They’ve recruited celebrities to gush that its providers are “really, truly, no-kidding awesome.” As the Washington Post said, “…Activists are seeking to normalize abortion, to put a human face — and even a positive spin — on the procedure.”
Unfortunately for them, there already is a human face on the procedure: the baby’s. And no amount of Planned Parenthood gift certificates or Black Friday abortion deals can lessen the real cost in people’s minds. After years of changing opinion, monsters like Kermit Gosnell only cemented what most Americans already knew — there’s nothing compassionate about “choice.”
Now, decades after Roe v. Wade, fewer women are exercising the “right” the Supreme Court found in the shadows of the Constitution. In fact, abortion isn’t just in decline — but in a freefall, dropping 12 percent nationwide since 2010. A new AP report makes matters even more interesting, explaining that the dip isn’t just in states with new pro-life laws — but almost all states. (Of the states that reported, only Michigan and Louisiana’s abortions ticked up.) In places like Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma, where legislators raced to protect women and make clinics more accountable, abortion plunged by at least 15 percent — a remarkable shift in just five years. Even liberal bastions like New York, Washington, and Oregon experienced similar slides, leading the Left to credit things like contraception and radical sex ed.
But researcher Michael New doesn’t buy it. An expert on the causal relationship between pro-life laws and abortion, New says the media is missing the big story here. “A better explanation is the fact that a considerably smaller percentage of women with unintended pregnancies are having abortions [down from 54% in 1995 to 40% in 2008]… The Associated Press article does not even consider this as a possibility.”
In fact, he says, “long-term abortion trends receive relatively little coverage from the mainstream media.” Why? Because they’re a dramatic picture of the pro-life swing taking place in America. “Few Americans know that the number of abortions performed in the United States peaked in 1990 and has declined by approximately 34% since that time. Through offering alternatives to women facing unplanned pregnancies, enacting legislation, and shifting public opinion, pro-life efforts have succeeded.”
Even the most aggressive pro-abortion administration in history can’t compete with the technology, truth, and tenacity of the pro-life movement. For thousands of women, the window into the womb from sonograms and ultrasounds is the only persuasion they need to keep their babies. Combine that with the thriving network of pregnancy care centers and motivated lawmakers, and abortion activists are at a severe disadvantage.
In three years — 2011, 2012, and 2013 — states enacted more pro-life laws (205) than in the entire previous decade combined (which, even the Left admits, has “a real impact on women seeking abortion care”). And you don’t need a Gallup poll to show you what the March for Life recently did — Americans, especially young ones, are increasingly pro-life. So while the Left may argue the means, there’s no disputing the ends: abortion is losing its grip on America.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.