In a world full of troubling stories, it’s always nice to find a bright spot. As it turns out, there’s a pretty significant bit of news on the abortion front: across the country, more clinics have closed this year than in 2012 or 2011, including one right here in my home state of Virginia.
From the Baptist Press, via Christianitytodday.com:
This year, 42 clinics that provided surgical abortions have shut their doors, and two that offered chemical abortions by drugs also have closed, according to Operation Rescue, which monitors closings and health and safety violations by clinics nationwide. That number far surpasses the 25 surgical clinics shutdown last year and the 30 in 2011, by Operation Rescue’s count. While others estimate a smaller number of closings, the pattern is clear.
Some of the shutdowns have been of major clinics. For instance, Virginia’s No. 1 abortion provider closed, The Washington Post reported in July. NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax, Va., shut down after state and local governments enacted regulations the abortion provider appeared unable to meet. The northern Virginia clinic performed 3,066 abortions in 2012 and 3,567 in 2011.
What’s causing the trend? A number of factors:
The reasons given for the upswing in closings are varied even among pro-lifers. They include:
— the increasing state regulation and oversight of clinics;
— a significant decline in the abortion rate.
In some cases, clinics have shut down when abortion doctors retired or were no longer licensed.
State legislatures enacted 69 pro-life laws this year, according to a report released Thursday (Sept. 5) by Americans United for Life. In all, 48 states considered about 360 such proposals in 2013, AUL reported.
This is real progress, and it continues to show that pro-life battles are most often won at the state level. The Virginia law was made possible in part by then Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is now running for Governor and has long been a champion of the pro-life cause.
As medical technology continues to advance our ability to see and understand what is going on inside the womb, this trend can only continue.
The battle is far from over, but every now and then it’s nice to stop and recognize the successes of the pro-life movement. Here’s to the day that abortion in America is nothing more than a tragic memory.