By: Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute
Last week while traveling for the 4th of July holiday, I had the privilege to personally thank a soldier for his service while in the Salt Lake City airport. Having a son who has served in Iraq, I have a profound understanding and respect for the sacrifice that the members of our armed forces and their families make each and every day. It was a humbling reminder of just how many lives have willingly endured the battlefields for our freedom throughout America’s history.
In our fight for the unborn, we too have entered countless battles—both won and lost. In 1973, a devastating battle was lost. Roe v. Wade has condemned to death over fifty-four million innocent, unborn babies. Since that time, pro-lifers have become even more resolved in overturning this tragic ruling and restoring America to a culture of life. After nearly four decades, we have encouraging evidence that our efforts have not been in vain.
- Abortion rates have dropped by an estimated 25% since 1990 based on a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
- A second consecutive national Gallup poll found that more American adults consider themselves pro-life; compared to a record low number of respondents who define themselves as “pro-choice.”
- Pro-life legislation, like parental involvement, waiting periods and required counseling, increased to record-breaking numbers in 2011. 2012 is not far behind with 39 such laws enacted so far this year.
- The number of abortion mills is on the decline. Having peaked in 1995, Planned Parenthood has closed an average of 12 facilities per year.
These statistics are a testimony that more and more women are choosing life. Another telling sign is not reflected in numbers, but in words. Over the years, pro-abortion advocates have used lots of deceptive and manipulative language in promoting their cause. They have called abortion many things: “a woman’s choice,” “a reproductive right” and “a medical procedure.” Even the baby’s very life was demeaned and designated as “non-human” or “a clump of cells.” Roe v. Wade was essentially built on the false premise that abortion was not killing.
Thankfully, times have changed. With advancements in technology, medicine and media, we have a wealth of information that clearly prove human life begins at fertilization. Ultrasound and now 4D ultrasounds have opened up a window to the miraculous development that takes place within the womb. Armed with these resources, the pro-abortion side has been forced to concede the fact that abortion kills a baby. In fact, they admit this in their own words:
“In the beginning, they [pro-lifers] were calling it a baby. We were saying it was only blood and tissue. You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does. I can’t say it’s just like an appendectomy. It isn’t. It’s a very powerful and loaded decision.” – Merle Hoffman, President of Choices Women’s Medical Center
“I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know abortion is killing.”– Faye Wattleton, the longest reigning president of Planned Parenthood
“We can recognize that it is human life—but the point is not when does life begin, but when does it… begin to matter.” – Ann Furedi, BPAS director and England’s best-known abortionist
“In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son] taken 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly… the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.” – David Boonin, author of A Defense of Abortion
Clearly, it is disturbing to comprehend how someone can admit abortion is killing, yet still advocate that it continue unabated. However, with this acknowledgement, it becomes more difficult for abortionists to blindly victimize women into believing that abortion is nothing more than a medical procedure. Women’s eyes are being opened to the truth, and the truth is a powerful ambassador for life. While it is true we may have lost battles along the way, if we remain diligent, we will win the war and bring an end to abortion.