Despite massive propaganda depicting on-demand abortion as a rising tide, the momentum is in the other direction. Science sides with the pro-life cause.
Chile banned elective abortions in 1989. The MELISA Institute has just published a massive study on the fruit of the ban. Maternal deaths in Chile have dropped from 41.3 per 100,000 of population to 12.7 – a decrease of 69%. Legal abortion is not safe, and never has been. Fewer abortions lead to a lot fewer maternal deaths from all causes; they always have.
Women seeking abortions in Chile have decreased 2% yearly since 2001, creating a cumulative decrease of about 30%. Dr. Elard Koch, author and co-leader of the study, found 70% of the women seeking abortions cited fear and coercion as their primary motivation. Koch added that introduction of education and support services leads to change in these attitudes between 69% and 94% of the time, depending on the risk group being assessed.
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Chile, Malta, and Ireland prohibit abortion; all three have a lower maternal mortality rate than the most developed nation on earth – America. 56% of worldwide maternal deaths occur in Africa, where the nations place high restrictions on access to abortion. Yet these deaths per 100,000 occur at less than half the rate prevailing in the United States.
Abortion is deadly for more than just the pre-born; always has been. But the pro-life majority in our country is above 80% for 99% of all abortions performed, i. e. abortions for the sake of convenience. A mere 11% of Americans want unlimited access to abortion throughout the pregnancy according to polls done by CNN and others as recently as 2013. Yet few Americans seem to have the stomach to engage the debate. Enter 40 Days for Life.
Founded in 2004, this ministry of volunteers conducts semi-annual campaigns of prayer and blessing outside abortion clinics. They now serve in more than six hundred cities worldwide, mostly in the U.S. They do nothing but bless, pray, and worship, engaging in conversation with those who approach them. They have accounted for ninety-seven hundred saved unborn lives – and double that number of parents finding a new lease on life. Sixty clinics have closed due to their activities; funding or clients or both decreasing below the level of bankruptcy. More than one hundred workers have resigned; appointments drop by 50-75% when volunteers are on duty. It is ministries of compassion like this – and pregnancy support centers like Care Net and LifeLight – that account for the change in American attitudes more than revelation of the experience of Chile and other nations, and certainly more than debate.
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Of course, there is very little actual debate anymore. Planned Parenthood and their surrogates have been very successful at cutting that off. When I testified before the California Commission on the Status of Women regarding the traumatic effects of abortion on the women who have them, the chairperson asked if I was willing to hear the other side of the question – as though it is pro-lifers who seek to stifle conversation. I answered that I would be glad to engage, adding that I had been listening to the other side for thirty years and was still awaiting my own turn to speak in such conversations. Glancing to my right, I could see the Planned Parenthood representatives already scuttling out of the room. When I encountered their leader the next day in the same building, I tried to give her my card and was curtly informed, “I don’t want to talk to you.”
These are the same people who indict pro-life witnesses like the 40 Days folks under anti-racketeering statutes. They seek to accuse these prayer warriors of clinic bombings, and – God knows – there have been a few such incidents perpetrated by a very few lunatic hangers-on, but the record is clear that violence and intimidation against life-supporting people dramatically surpasses incidents against abortion supporters and providers. It is equally clear the efforts to suppress conversation are all on one side.
Jesus says He is the Way and the Truth and the Life – for all; He is just as much in love with those who defy Him as those who serve Him. He weeps for the former and rejoices in the latter. He says He came to bring life – and that abundantly – for all, and He specifically includes in His written record the reality that He knows us in our humanity from within the womb and onward.
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The Spring 2015 40 Days for Life campaign begins February 18. Information and the opportunity to participate are available at 40daysforlife.com – and in your own heart.
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