u t h p s t r
in His grip, thankfully!

abortions rates have gone down

• this post is edited for clarification after some great comments from leslie.  check them out!

there is some good news about a cultural trend going the opposite way.

church relevance blog is REPORTING on a study that says abortion rates are declining for a number of reasons. there are several things here to be happy about: declining teen pregnancies and fewer abortion clinics in the us. we need to research why these two factors are taking place and see how as the church we can support them and speak to them. i’m not advocating violence against abortion practitioners or clinics, but i would be very interested to see why they are declining in numbers.  i would also love to find out if there is any influence that schools and churches have had through their efforts in abstinence or purity that plays into the declining abortion rates.

it was pointed out to me that the teen pregnancy rate is on the rise.  this must be something we look at and respond to in a way that shows love and care for those getting pregnant and showing them ways to carry their babies to term and making solid decisions about the future of that child.

there are also several things to be concerned about with the declining abortion rate: medication abortions and better use of contraceptives and birth control. i had heard about the “day after pills” but wasn’t aware that there are also other medication based ways to abort a child. it seems scary that abortions can now take place through medication which would seem to make them more accessible and less difficult.  leslie will have to inform me if that it true.  it’s also a strange feeling to say that better use of contraceptives is sad in my mind.  my hope would be that for unmarried couples, pregnancies would not happen because of waiting until marriage instead of the proper use of contraceptives and birth control.  yes, these things lower the abortion rate but they don’t do anything to address the issue of waiting for sex.  i don’t have my head buried in the sand, but my hope is that as the church we can talk about the benefits of purity in such a way that it inspires people for the amazing plan that God has for us in marriage then sex.

these are complex issues and the sense of abandonment in adolescents can still drive them to make poor choices because of their need and longing to be loved and cared for by someone.

the best way to see these statistics continue to trend downward is for adults [parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, youth workers] to continue to take personal involvement in the lives of the students they love and come in contact with. this report gives us some hope and gives us some drive to continue in the work we are doing.

pax: ty

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2 Responses to “abortions rates have gone down”

  1. The decline in abortion rates is definitely good news. However, this trend is juxtaposed with the recent stats released by the CDC regarding the teen birth rate: http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/pressroom/07newsreleases/teenbirth.htm

    The US teen pregnancy rate is actually on the rise, not the decline. This is the first increase since 1991. The overall rate increase was 3%, and for non-hispanic black teens the rate increase was 5%.

    Also the site that you linked to indicated that the decrease in abortion rates may be due to unaccounted medication abortions via mifepristone. In your post you voiced concern about these medical abortions via “day after pills.” It is a very common misconception that the morning after pill is synonymous with medical abortions. It should be made very clear that these are 2 separate things. The morning after pill that recently became over the counter (for individuals over the age of 18) is a form of emergency contraception that uses high doses of progesterone to prevent fertilization of an egg or implantation of a fertilized egg on the uterine wall. It is not an abortifacient. Mifepristone is in fact an abortifacient in that it is a method that acts after implantation.

    The site that you linked to also acknowledged that the decrease in abortion rates may be attributed to better birth control usage. You sited this as a concern. I’m not sure why.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that one of the best ways to ensure that this downward trend in the abortion rate continues is to be personally involved in the lives of teens. Another important factor in preventing teen pregnancies is to ensure that all teens have a meaningful future. A teen who sees his or her future filled with flipping burgers at McDonalds is much more likely to make poor choices.

    Thanks for the post Ty. These are issues that I come across on a daily basis at work and I just wanted to share my thoughts.

  2. Way back when I went to Hope and lived in Holland (late 70s early 80s) Ottawa County bragged of a zero abortion rate. I was doing a paper for my sociology class on teen pregnancy. With a little more digging I discovered that they had a zero abortion rate because Planned Parenthood of Holland was forced to refer all their would-be abortion cases to Kent County. When talking to Kent County what I discovered was that the referal rate from Ottawa County made the Ottawa County abortion rate one of the highest per capita in the nation. I was quite grieved by what seemed to be a blind eye on the part of the Church. Reading this post gives me hope that while we still aren’t very good at solving the problem at least some are willing to admit ther is one.


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