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Thursday, January 17,
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NEW REPORT: ABORTION NUMBERS CONTINUE TO
National Right to Life Cites Pro-Life
Education, Legislation as Key
– Today, National Right to Life cited an increase in pro-life
educational outreach and legislative initiatives as central to a
new report issued by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the special
research arm of Planned Parenthood, showing the annual number of
abortions reaching their lowest level in nearly 30 years.
"Today's numbers confirm what we have
known for years – if women seeking abortion are fully informed
about the risks surrounding abortion, the development of their
unborn child, and public and private assistance available in
their area, they are more likely to reject the idea of
abortion," said Randall K.
O'Bannon, Ph.D., NRLC director of education and research.
"Women's Right to Know laws,
parental involvement laws, bans on partial-birth abortion – all
of which continue to be enacted by the states – not only help
women facing crisis pregnancies, they also raise the public's
awareness about abortion and the humanity of the unborn child."
The Guttmacher Institute report finds just over
1.2 million abortions in the United States in 2005, down nearly
25% from their high of 1.6 million in 1990, and the lowest
reported total since 1.179 million in 1976. Additionally, the
report shows the abortion rate (the number of abortions per
every thousand women age 15-44) down to 19.4 per thousand – the
lowest since 1974. The Guttmacher report speculates that the
lower abortion rates may be due to "more women carrying
unintended pregnancies to term," implicitly acknowledging that
attitudes toward abortion and pregnancy may have substantially
Much of that attitudinal shift can be attributed
to the efforts of National Right to Life and its state
affiliates in passing legislation at the federal and state
levels to protect unborn children and equip their mothers with
Twenty-three states have women's right to know
laws that provide women seeking abortion with information about
abortion and its risks, biological information about the
development of their unborn child and available alternatives to
abortion, including, significantly, the types of both
governmental and private assistance available if they choose to
bear their child. Eleven states also make provisions for women
to view ultrasound footage of their unborn child.
Twenty-eight states have laws providing for
parental involvement in a minor daughter's abortion decision.
Other data show that teen abortion rates have fallen further and
faster than abortion rates as a whole.
Also significant has been the enactment of
partial-birth abortion bans at the federal and state level.
Public debate surrounding these laws has further increased the
public's awareness about abortion and the development of unborn
children in utero.
Educational outreach has also played a
significant role in changing the public's attitude about
abortion. Every year, thousands of pieces of literature are
distributed at fair booths and events nationwide. Furthermore,
polling trends continue to show that the majority of Americans
oppose the vast majority of abortions.
"What the pro-life movement has done, and
continues to do, has saved hundreds of thousands of lives,"
Dr. O'Bannon added.
"Falling abortion rates are a sure sign that, given truthful
information about abortion, about its impact on their lives,
about the child growing inside them, and given even the
slightest help and encouragement, many women will choose life."
The National Right to Life Committee is the
nation's largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states
and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to
Life works through legislation and education to protect those
threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted