35 Years after Legalized Abortion

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January 22, 2008, marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  In 1973, the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton court decisions legalized abortion on demand in America.  Since then, women have been able to legally terminate their pregnancies through all nine months of their pregnancies for any reason.  However, on April 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court finally upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Act.  This was a monumental step for the Pro-Life movement. 

Chuck Colson of BreakPoint commented, “It took thirty-four years to get from Roe v. Wade to the first significant restriction of so-called ‘abortion rights.’  It’s a reminder that when it comes to eradicating social ills, we must never give up.”  He went on to compare this victory with British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce’s victory in slowing the British slave trade.  His victory came when he was able to pass legislation in 1788 that restricted the number of slaves that a ship was allowed to carry based on the ship’s tonnage.
 
This victory, although small, proved that the slave trade was vulnerable, just as our victory against partial-birth abortion proves that the abortion industry is vulnerable.  Mr. Wilberforce, after almost 20 years of fighting, was eventually successful in abolishing the slave trade.  Twenty-five years after that, slavery was abolished all together.  We too—with patience, hard work, and diligence—eventually will be successful in abolishing the practice of abortion.
 
According to the most recent abortion records at The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research branch of Planned Parenthood), 1.287 million abortions were reported in 2003.  This was a decrease from 1.293 million in 2002.  Unfortunately, the government does not require that abortions be reported; therefore, we do not have an accurate view of how many abortions are truly being committed.  The national abortion numbers are dropping slightly, but so many lives still need protection.  
 
The abortion numbers in Texas have increased by about 6% from 74,399 in 2005 to 79,041 in 2006.  Any increase in the abortion rate is tragic and motivates us to redouble efforts in educating Texans about abortion and the many local assistance programs available to pregnant women.    
 
However, Texas is now the 3rd most Pro-Life state in the country, according to the 2007 Americans United for Life National Pro-Life State Analysis.  These rankings are based on our Pro-Life legislature, public assistance to pregnant women, as well as the Pro-Life legislation that we have worked hard to pass.    
 
Induced Abortions as a Percentage of Reported Pregnancies
Texas Residents 1990-2006
 

YEAR

ABORTIONS

BIRTHS + FETAL DEATHS

% ABORTIONS

Annual Reduction Since 1990

% Reduction Since 1990

Total Lives Saved Since 1990

1990

90,051

318,343

22

 

 

 

1991

87,679

319,788

22

2,372

2.63

2,372

1992

87,230

322,787

21

2,821

3.13

5,193

1993

86,360

323,969

21

3,691

4.10

8,884

1994

83,823

323,127

21

6,228

6.92

15,112

1995

83,419

324,706

20

6,632

7.36

21,744

1996

87,677

332,202

21

2,374

2.64

24,118

1997

81,526

335,798

20

8,525

9.47

32,643

1998

78,887

344,173

19

11,164

12.40

43,807

1999

77,291

351,240

18

12,760

14.17

56,567

2000

73,155

365,475

17

16,896

18.76

73,463

2001

74,101

367,407

17

15,950

17.71

89,413

2002

76,278

374,646

17

13,773

15.29

103,186

2003

76,019

379,632

17

14,032

15.58

117,218

2004

72,441

383,727

16

17,610

19.56

134,828

2005

74,399

N/A

N/A

15,652

17.38

150,480

2006

79,041

N/A

N/A

11,010

12.22

161,490

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