The abortion rate in the United States reached a record low in 2017, according to a study released by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research and policy organization initially founded as Planned Parenthood’s research arm.
The study reports 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017, the lowest number since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973. In 2014, the institute reported 926,000 abortions in the U.S., while three years prior, over 1 million abortions were recorded.
“I think this is quite significant that this is an admission essentially coming from the abortion industry,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, on his Washington Watch radio show. “… I would say that the abortion industry is somewhat on the ropes.”
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 1,553,900 abortions were performed in 1980. “If I were to go back to 1980 and talk to pro-life leadership and say, ‘You know what? Thirty-nine years later, we’re not going to overturn Roe v. Wade, but we’ll cut abortion numbers in half,’ they probably would’ve said I was crazy,” said Michael New, associate scholar at Charlotte Lozier Institute. “But this is [what’s] happened. I think these falling numbers really show good evidence that we are, in fact, putting a culture of life [into] this country.”
New pointed out that almost 400 pro-life laws went into effect between 2011 and 2017—the time fame that this most recent study covers.
According to a Gallup poll, just 33% of Americans considered themselves pro-life in September 1995. By May 2019, that number rose 16%, with 49% of Americans identifying as pro-life.
Despite the encouraging decline in abortion numbers and an increase in pro-life supporters, the fight isn’t over.
“The message of life is resonating; this is not the time to pull back,” Perkins said. “I think we are within arm’s reach of seeing America as a predominantly pro-life nation again.”
Live Action Founder Lila Rose agreed: “While we are pleased that the abortion rate is decreasing across the country, there is still a long way to go to ensuring that every expectant mother and preborn child is treated with dignity. According to … Guttmacher Institute, abortion still kills 2,362 babies every day in America. Abortion isn’t healthcare, it’s an act of violence against our most vulnerable children, and the pro-life movement will not rest until the country’s laws and culture reflect this fact.”