If you’re an American 38 or younger, one thing you can be thankful for this Thanksgiving is that you were not one of the 53 million babies aborted since Roe v. Wade gave women the “right” to end the life of their unborn child.
In 1990 the number of abortions performed annually peaked at an estimated high of 1,608, 600, Since then the number has steadily decreased. But it is still more then 1.2 million a year.
That means that every 24 seconds another baby dies at the hand of an abortionist. Another unborn baby’s heart has stopped beating.
The fact that abortion ends a life is finally sinking in to the hearts and minds of the American public. In a recent article in The Weekly Standard, executive editor Fred Barnes, wrote, “Pro-lifers have captured the high moral ground, chiefly thanks to advances in the quality of sonograms. Once fuzzy, sonograms now provide a high-resolution picture of the unborn child in the womb.” As Barnes notes, “Fetuses have become babies.”
That change in perception is having a big impact—especially on the young people born during the Roe v. Wade era. According to Barnes, more young people now see abortion as a “human rights violation” and their resistance to abortion is growing.
Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion provider in the country at over 330,000 abortions a year, is sensitive to this change. According to Mr. Barnes, “The “A” word is almost never uttered now by anyone connected to the abortion industry, which claims merely to support ‘a woman’s right to choose.’ Choose what? They don’t say. Their opponents aren’t ‘pro-lifers,’ but anyone who is ‘anti-choice.’”
In a membership drive and fund-raising letter, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards started her appeal saying, “Come hell or high water, Planned Parenthood will be there for the women who need us—whatever it takes.”
After that opening salvo, Richards promised that PP would “Challenge an outrageous new law…make sure vulnerable women get the services they need…fight off severe state-based and national restrictions on access to reproductive care.”
Richards needs to add another item to the list: answer a congressional probe into whether Planned Parenthood is guilty of financial fraud and violation of state and federal sexual trafficking and prostitution laws—as detailed in a report by Americans United for Life.
It’s clear from Richards’ letter that Planned Parenthood is feeling the pressure as states are shutting off funds for abortions. Also evident is concern that federal funds may be affected. As Barnes points out, “about one-third of PP’s $1 billion budget comes from government grants and contracts.”
Planned Parenthood is not taking the pro-life campaign to “defund Planned Parenthood” lightly. According to Richards, “We have been able to push back against these attacks only because women and men from all over the country have rallied to our side. The sheer number of people we have standing with us has made all the difference.”
Although Richards may boast of a large number of supporters, the figures are not in PP’s favor when it comes to comparing the numbers of abortion facilities and crisis pregnancy centers. Across America there are now nearly three times as many crisis pregnancy centers (2,300) as abortion facilities (800 to 850). Not only are more pregnancy centers opening, but as states take a closer look at the operating procedures and licensing of abortion facilities more of these are being shut down.
For example, as LifeNews.com reported, earlier this month Michigan judge Calvin Oosterhaven signed a temporary restraining order closing two abortion facilities that had been operating without a valid license. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is now pursuing possible regulatory violations by agencies within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
As the ratio of crisis pregnancy centers to abortion mills increases, so does the number of babies whose lives are saved. When pregnant women are able to see a sonogram of their baby, which is offered free at many pregnancy centers, 80 to 90 percent of them choose to have their baby.
Limiting federal and state funding to abortion providers, closer monitoring of the abortion industry, and increasing use of sonograms by pregnancy centers are not the only tools being used to save babies’ lives.
Another means is prayer. In 2004 a group of people gathered in College Station, Texas for 40 days of prayer and fasting to end abortion. They held a peaceful, nonstop 40 day 24-hour vigil outside of a local Planned Parenthood center. During those 40 days they also contacted 25,000 households asking them to join in praying for an end to abortion. Shawn Carney, who helped organize the effort along with David Bereit, said in a recent 40 Days for Life webcast, “Many people didn’t even know there was an abortion facility in our community. That [40 days] resulted in a 28% drop in our local abortion numbers.”
In 2007, Bereit and Carney launched 40 Days for Life as a nationally coordinated effort. Since then it has grown exponentially and in fall 2011, 135,000 people participated in 301 cities with 4,000 churches involved in the campaign. Carney reported that this effort resulted in a confirmed 732 babies saved and eight abortion facility workers left their jobs. He noted that back in 2007 “we had no idea what God had in store.”
Janet Folger Porter, coordinator of the effort to get the Heartbeat Bill passed in Ohio, recently reminded the audience at a Right to Life breakfast here in Broward County, “The weapon the enemy doesn’t have is prayer and fasting.”
We are told in Proverbs 24:11 to “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.”
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all those like Janet Porter, David Bereit and Shawn Carney and the tens of thousands of others who have taken the words of Proverbs 24:11 to heart. I am thankful for each and every one who is trying to save the lives of the unborn and I’m thankful for each and every baby whose life has been saved through their efforts.