NRL News

Thinking more deeply about abortions that don’t happen

by | Apr 17, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Sometimes even someone who writes daily about abortion (like me) can miss the significance of a truly powerful but perhaps under-emphasized pro-life story.

Last week, Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, wrote with the wonderful news that her state’s abortion toll had dropped 10% in 2017!

Holly went on to explain, “Since 1990, when the South Carolina General Assembly passed its first pro-life law, the Parental Consent Act, the number of abortions has steadily declined. Overall, since the peak number of abortions in 1988, abortions have tumbled by more than 63 percent. That translates into 166,507 lives saved.”

It was a wonderful story and I was priviledged to share it with our readers. The overwhelming importance of lives not lost was reaffirmed when one of my daughters returned from a conference of pregnancy help centers held in California.

(By the way, if you have not registered yet for the pro-life educational event of the year—the 2018 National Right to Life Convention in Kansas City—please got to

Her experience made me think of one of the newsletters sent out by the pregnancy help center she volunteers at. I remember reading the wonderfully encouraging news of babies saved.

And then this further insight into a component, the importance of which cannot be exaggerated: “at least five of our moms who had previously had abortions chose life for their new pregnancies.”

Pro-lifers are overjoyed that the number of abortions, the abortion rate, and the abortion ratio are at the lowest numbers since Roe v. Wade opened the floodgates. Buried in that encouraging news, however, is that 60% of the little over 925,000 abortions performed in 2014 were repeat abortions, meaning the woman has had undergone at least one prior abortion.

I wouldn’t pretend to make global generalizations about repeat abortions. The reasons why a woman would have another abortion are enormously complex.

But you can say with confidence that there will be a tipping point, where the decision for life or death will be made–a hinge, if you will. It could be information mandated by the state’s informed consent law where she learns about the journey her unborn child is on, and the alternatives there are to abortion.

That could be a pregnancy help center where something as “small” as the assurance that she will have a car seat for her new baby, or a stock of diapers, or a few sets of clothes for a newborn can and does make all the difference in the world.

This is quadruply true if the woman (or girl) also has living children.

Kudos and gratitude to all those who generosity helps women and girls in extreme distress, particularly the saintly volunteers at women helping centers.

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Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion