Sunday, January 11, 2009

World Magazine on Abortion

If you want to learn about the social history of abortion in the United States, I know of no better book that Marvin Olasky's Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America. (Contrary to what many of us functionally assume, the history of abortion in the US goes back not just to 1973, but 1652.)

For a helpful overview, read Olasky's column in the latest issue of World. Here's how it starts

To save the lives of more unborn Americans we should see how our pro-life predecessors succeeded in the past—and by the past I don't mean only the past three decades but the past two centuries. It's conventional to think of the abortion horror as a product of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but research I've done at the Library of Congress shows that abortion on the eve of the Civil War was more frequent, in proportion to the U.S. population, than it is now.

You have not just read a misprint. Roughly 160,000 abortions occurred in 1860 in a population of 30 million. Probably about 1.2 million abortions (13 percent of them through RU-486) occurred last year in a population estimated at around 307 million. The horrific current number is obviously no cause for self-congratulation, but reputable forecasters at the time of Roe v. Wade were predicting a butcher's bill of more than 4 million abortions annually by now.

With everything we're doing wrong, are we doing something right to fall far short of that 4 million prediction, and to have witnessed a decline during the past decade from 1.6 million to 1.2 million? I believe we are, and not for the first time in American history: The number of abortions in America, in proportion to the population, declined by at least 50 percent during the 50 years from 1860 to 1910. How did that happen? And is the current decline likely to continue?

Much of World's latest issue is devoted to the subject of abortion and the pro-life cause. Here are the articles:
Black genocide

African-Americans are fighting the high toll of abortion in their own community by developing compassionate alternatives | by Lynn Vincent

American girls

When it comes to abortion, some Hispanics are becoming a bit too assimilated | by Lynn Vincent

Selling abortion

Through academia, the press, and TV, pro-abortion forces peddled their cause | by Marvin Olasky

Lethal law

Federal Freedom of Choice Act may reverse some of the gains made against abortion on the state level | by Lynn Vincent

Pro-life pivot

The untold story of how movement shifted focus, changed its image, and saved lives | by Marvin Olasky

On the ropes

Undercover videos shot in Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics trigger firings, possible state probe | by Lynn Vincent

Still fighting

Election returns cannot keep down the pro-life movement | by Russ Pulliam

Life or death?

Group that fights breast cancer maintains troubling ties to Planed Parenthood | by Alisa Harris

Disunited nations

A statement of dissent at the UN, a victory in west Texas, and other pro-life news | by Alisa Harris