(From FotF’s Pastor’s Weekly Briefing)

Sanctity of Human Life Week begins on Sunday, January 21, and continues through Sunday, January 28. Most evangelical churches will be setting aside some time that week to celebrate the sacredness of life. (More information and materials for your church are available online at http://www.heartlink.org/beavoice/.)

One of the primary emphases of Sanctity of Human Life Week is the evil of abortion. (Others include infanticide, genocide, the handicapped, the ill, etc.) You wouldn’t know it from reading mainstream magazines, but the abortion rate in the United States has been falling for a dozen years, thanks in part to “incremental” restrictions — parental notification and consent, a woman’s right to know, waiting periods, abortion clinic regulations, fetal pain measures and numerous other laws in dozens of states.

And those laws may be hastening the day when Roe v. Wade — the infamous 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively legalizing abortion on demand — vanishes like a bad dream. For example, Mississippi has passed 15 pro-life laws in the past 13 years and has enjoyed a nearly 60 percent decrease in abortions, according to Americans United for Life.

There are other supportive facts to this claim. The following come from the Alan Guttmatcher Institute, a major research arm of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider:

• Abortions as a whole across America have declined more than 28 percent since their peak in 1980.

• There has been a “huge decrease” — about a third — in the number of clinics, hospitals and private physicians who perform abortions.

• The vanishing abortionist: A growing majority of doctors who provide abortions are 50 and older.

• Mississippi and South Dakota are down to one abortion clinic each. Providers like Planned Parenthood, in some cases, have resorted to flying doctors in from other states, as fewer and fewer doctors are willing to perform the brutal procedure.

Pro-lifers say that, over the 33 years since Roe v. Wade, two growing realizations — evidence for the personhood of the unborn baby and the long-term harm to the post-abortive mother — have been changing minds, as evidenced by trends in public opinion polls toward the pro-life position. And the growing body of pro-life legislation has been changing behavior.

(This feature is derived from the article, “Capitol Gains,” by Stephen Adams in the January 2007 issue of Citizen magazine. Please see the full article for much more information.)

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