Today, abortions are occurring less often in America than they have at any time since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973.
Laws on legal abortion vary from state to state, with Mississippi setting the limit to abortion at 20 weeks gestation. The state’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks has come to a pause as it fights its battle in the courts.
Despite the temporary setback, recent Center for Disease Control reports on abortion rates have brought good news to those on the pro-life side of this issue.
The CDC’s 2015 report indicates a downward trend in abortions since their climax in the 1980s. In 2015, the United States experienced 638,169 abortions. This is a two percent drop from 2014 data. In Mississippi, abortion percentages reflect this trend.
Hinds County, home to the only abortion clinic in the state, ranked first in abortion rates. But, it saw a drop from 23.2 percent to 20.7 percent of pregnancies ending in abortion. Still, one in seven pregnancies ending in abortion in Hinds, Rankin, and Madison counties is nothing to celebrate.
However, it is worth investigating what is causing this downward trend—especially if we want it to continue. One correlation is the rising number of pregnancy centers.
Charlotte Lozier Institute’s 2018 Pregnancy Center Report showed that an estimated two million people received free services at pregnancy centers this year. These pregnancy centers operate as private nonprofits and ministries with an estimated 67,400 volunteers including 7,500 licensed medical professionals. And they have saved American taxpayers an estimated $161 million.
Nationally, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates had a huge 2018 Supreme Court victory that saved the longevity of these centers from state legislatures who would rather see them shut down. In Mississippi, we can claim over 40 pregnancy centers and clinics. The largest pregnancy medical clinic in the state is The Center for Pregnancy Choices-Metro Area, with two locations in Jackson. These pregnancy centers offer pregnancy tests, sonograms, supplies, referrals for adoption and medical needs, counseling, and parenting classes as some of their services.
The pro-abortion lobby frequently targets pregnancy centers that save taxpayers millions and offer compassionate, free services to women facing unplanned pregnancies. “Fake Clinic” is the branded name given to pregnancy centers by the pro-abortion community. In our state’s capitol, “Fake Clinic” signs and fliers have littered our streets with the hope of swaying women against attending their appointments with The CPC. Instead, patient numbers have increased at metro area clinics. And ninety-four percent of patients leave reporting full satisfaction from their visit. Not one patient has reported a poor experience on exiting surveys.
One wonders if a government agency ever received such phenomenal reviews.
The numbers speak volumes. The free market is handling the subject of unplanned pregnancies far better than any government agency. The private donors, volunteers, and pregnancy center employees of Mississippi are driving solutions to end abortion in our state.
Anja Baker is a Contributing Fellow for Mississippi Center for Public Policy.