In a refreshing move for the pro-life movement, President Trump extended his support for the January 27 March for Life in front of the Washington Monument.
”The #MarchForLife is so important,” Trump tweeted. “To all of you marching — you have my full support!”
Vice President Mike Pence further commented to the gathered crowds, saying that the new administration would ”work with the Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers, and we will devote those resources to health care services for women across America.”
While women’s rights advocates are up in arms, a newly released study states that Trump’s latest pro-life legislation may not be as pie in the sky as it originally seemed. The numbers released by pro-choice group Guttmacher Institute, state that abortions are not only in decline, but at the lowest rate in the history of legalized abortion.
The study shows that when abortion was legalized in 1973, there was a sharp increase in abortions performed, peaking out in 1990 at 1.6 million. After that, the abortion rate began to steadily decline. In 2011, the abortion rate reached one million, and in 2014, the last year surveyed, there were only 926,000 abortions performed in the United States. It seems, that while women may march on Washington, in the end, Americans choose life.
The Guttmacher Institute provided a few speculative reasons for the decline. The first being the availability of effective contraceptives. The second, is the surge of abortion restrictions nationwide. Further, with only 788 abortion providers in the United States, down from 839 in 2011, many low-income women can find arranging the procedure to be prohibitive in itself.
“It can be very difficult for them to arrange for time off from work, transportation and child care,” said Jenna Jones, a researcher at the Guttmacher Institute and co-author of the study.
Even liberal Hollywood may be part of the abortion decline, producing blockbusters like Knocked Up, Juno fashionably searing itself into the ethical fabric of America’s millennials.
President Trump set off a fresh storm of liberal blowback earlier this week, when he reinstated the long abandoned Mexico City policy. The controversial act from 1985 states that any organization that provides abortion services overseas is ineligible for US funding. Obama overturned the measure in 2009, Trump ’s decisive move to reinstate it early on in his presidency, sets the pro-life movement dead center on his agenda.
Opponents argue that the Mexico City Policy will harm poor and needy women in some of the world’s most destitute locations and inhibit the work of hardworking humanitarian organizations. But others say there are better ways to institute family planning services in such situations. Still opponents also mention there are enough loopholes in the measure to flood to the Grand Canyon, and the whole deal may be much ado about nothing.
With that in place, Trump has turned to fighting abortion on the home front—declaring war on the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. In 2013, Planned Parenthood performed over 300,000 abortions, although the organization argues that this is only 3 per cent of its services. The majority of its services are comprised of contraception, STD and cancer screenings, among many other women’s health concerns. Pro-life groups call this number a sham, and state the abortions comprise up to 92% of its services.
They have vigorously targeted the behemoth, resulting in a number of scandals as it falls. The least of which are not the defecting of former executive Abby Johnson, who authored the chilling tell-all book, Unplanned, and the viral videos of abortion providers casually discussing selling body parts of aborted fetuses.
While federal funds cannot be used for abortion services, Planned Parenthood still receives over $550 million in government funding, accounting for about half of its expenses. This comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements and through Title X funding—an award given to community health care clinics that provide family planning services. The other half of Planned Parenthood’s funding is provided by a conglomeration of private donors, and lastly, by the sale of its services. So, with the lion’s share of revenue coming from the government, it seems implausible to federal lawmakers that taxpayer monies are not going to fund abortions.
The Trump supported bill HR 217 seeks to put a one-year halt on Planned Parenthood’s funding until it certifies that it does not provide abortions. Introduced by Diane Black (R-TN), the bill will also give $235 million to community health clinics that do not perform abortions.
“As a nurse for over 40 years, I have spent my career protecting life. As a member of Congress, I continue this critical fight for life,” Black said. “I will not rest until we put a stop to Planned Parenthood’s blatant abuse of taxpayer dollars to subsidize its big abortion business.”
The measure currently has 127 sponsors and the enthusiastic support of Vice-President Mike Pence, who as a senator in 2011, introduced a similar but ill-fated bill. Opponents of the bill, however, argue that if the availability of contraceptives is causing the decrease in abortions, wouldn’t defunding Planned Parenthood actually increase them?
This aggressive stride is part of the larger move to repeal Obamacare, and as the debate rages, it is expected to become a major part of the 2018 midterm elections. But, for now, it has women’s rights groups and Planned Parenthood in battle mode. The organization has seen an upturn in donations, some estimates at as high as four hundred percent. Rallies, women’s rights marches, letter-writing campaigns, are in full swing as the abortion industry proves it won’t go down without a fight. And if these numbers prove anything, it’s that it just might be a losing battle.
You may share this post on Facebook and Twitter.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below: