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Michigan shows positive prolife momentum

SUMMER 2016

“Trending” is a term most associated today with whatever people happen to be talking about at the moment on social media. Even traditional news media has followed that lead, focusing on a few hours at a time and then forgetting them to history.
The prolife movement has certainly had its share of “trending” topics in recent memory, but after decades of legalized abortion, prolifers recognize that it’s the long-term trends that show momentum.


Thankfully the long-term trends on abortion have been positive. There are four that deserve closer looks.


The most important yardstick for measuring prolife work is the number of abortions. The total number—more than 56 million induced abortions since 1973—continues to grow. The growth is quickly slowing, however.


Nationally the abortion numbers are at their lowest levels in decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control, abortions haven’t been this low since 1973. The Guttmacher Institute—that likely provides the more accurate abortion estimates—finds abortion numbers haven’t been this low since 1975. Abortions have been cut from a third to a half since their high in 1990.
Michigan is certainly part of that trend. The latest figures from 2015 show abortions dropped 1.7 percent from the previous year, for a total reduction of 44.7 percent from the state’s high in 1987.


Michigan successfully banned tax-funded abortions in 1988, leading to a drop of more than 10,000 the next year. This shows how critical prolife legislation is to saving lives.


The trends in favor of prolife legislation have been dramatic. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute’s tracking, prolife laws on the state level exploded in 2010. According to the National Abortion Rights Action League, from 2006-2010 there were 130 prolife laws enacted in the states. From 2010-2014 there were 191.


In that time, Michigan has passed some significant pieces of legislation.


This spring Governor Snyder signed our Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA) and Rape Survivor Child Custody Act into law. CAPA will help prevent coerced abortions in Michigan—an everyday occurrence—by making coercion to abort a specific crime. The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act protects women who conceive in rape from their attackers during the child custody process.


We’ve completely overhauled how our state regulates abortion businesses, protected citizens from being forced into paying for abortions through Obamacare insurance mandates, helped patients facing hospitals silently cutting off their medical care, and finally completed our long journey to banning partial-birth abortions in the state.


It’s fair to say that abortion supporters feel completely under siege.


As abortion numbers go down, so do the number of abortion clinics. A report from Bloomberg Businessweek in February found that 162 abortion clinics closed since 2011, while only 21 new clinics opened.


Once again Michigan is taking a lead. There were approximately 34 abortion clinics and 1 RU-486-only clinic in 2011. Today are 19 abortion clinics and 5 RU-486-only clinics. Several of the most notoriously dangerous abortionists are no longer in business.


Public opinion is another trend working in the favor of the prolife movement. In 1995, a Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Americans called themselves “pro-choice,” compared to 33 percent who said they were “pro-life,” a 23-point spread. In 2015, the spread was only 6 points, with the prolife side winning as recently as 2013.


While these long-term trends are encouraging, they are moving slowly, and every year there are still around one million abortions in the U.S., an almost unimaginable loss of life. Much remains to be done if we want these trends to continue.


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