Pro-life efforts in Alabama are making a huge difference for unborn babies and their moms across the state. A new report found abortions dropped 21 percent in Alabama in just four years.
The Alabama Media Group reports [ http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/abortion_in_alabama_number_of.html ] the new numbers from the state Department of Public Health. In 2014, there were 8,080 abortions in Alabama, a 21 percent drop from the 10,280 abortions in 2010, according to the state. That means 2,200 fewer babies were aborted in just the past four years.
According to the report, Alabama’s abortion rate is much lower than the national average with 12 percent of pregnancies ending in abortion, compared to 18 percent of pregnancies nationwide.
The Rev. James Henderson, former executive director of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, was encouraged to hear the news and took it as a sign that pro-lifers are making a difference.
“According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, our pro-life efforts were the reason [Planned Parenthood] left Huntsville,” Henderson told the news outlet. “In this city, we’ve seen five closures. We’d like to see all of them close.”
According to the report, there were 12 abortion clinics in 2001 in Alabama, and now there are five. More abortion facilities could close, too, when a new law goes into effect.
Signed by Gov. Robert Bentley on May 12, the law bans abortion facilities from building within 2,000 feet of public elementary or middle schools and prohibits the state health department from issuing or renewing a health center license to current abortion clinics within the same distance of the schools, LifeNews reported. The legislation could close the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives Services (AWCRA) in Huntsville or at least force it to move. The facility aborted 1,108 unborn babies in 2014, according to the state report.
Abortion advocates already announced plans to fight the new law in court. ACLU Alabama Executive Director Susan Watson previously called the bill an attack on “the health and well-being of Alabama women.” She said it would be ACLU’s fourth lawsuit against the state in three years, AL.com reports.
Henderson said pro-life sidewalk counseling outside of abortion facilities is making a difference. Pro-life laws enacted in the past few years also appear to be saving unborn babies’ lives.
Enacted in 2013, the Alabama Women’s Health and Safety Act requires abortion sites to meet basic health and safety standards, similar to those required for other outpatient surgical facilities, LifeNews reported. Legislators passed the new health protections after hearing reports of botched abortions at several abortion facilities in the state.
One was a Planned Parenthood business in Birmingham that faced a lawsuit in 2012 for negligence for a botched abortion that left a woman unable to have children. Another abortion site was closed after 3 botched abortions injured women at the New Women All Women abortion site in South Birmingham.
However, in 2015, a judge blocked a state law requiring that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges. The law could have closed the state’s largest abortion facility – the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa. The facility aborted 4,725 unborn babies in 2014, more than any other facility, according to the state.
Last week, Gov. Bentley also signed a ban on brutal abortion dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies apart, LifeNews reported. This new law has the potential to save even more unborn babies from abortion in the years to come.
[M. Bilger, May 17, 2016, Montgomery, AL, http://www.lifenews.com/2016/05/17/abortions-drop-21-in-alabama-2200-babies-saved-from-abortions-as-more-clinics-close/ ]
Abortions Down in Alabama: Tough Laws Close clinics [sic], Cut Numbers
The number of abortion centers in Alabama has dwindled from 12 in 2001 to five in 2016, and two of those clinics may have to close if the courts uphold laws recently passed by the state legislature.
The number of abortion businesses isn’t the only thing on the decline. So is their business.
The number of abortions has dropped steadily in Alabama and across the nation since 1990, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rev. James Henderson of Huntsville, a former executive director of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said protests and political action by pro-life activists led to the drop in abortions.
“According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, our pro-life efforts were the reason [Planned Parenthood] left Huntsville,” Henderson said. “In this city, we’ve seen five closures. We’d like to see all of them close.”
Pro-choice organizations say a slew of state laws have hurt clinics and made it difficult to access services in Alabama, which has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said her organization has filed seven lawsuits against laws regulating abortion in the three years since she arrived in the state. If they prevail in all of the lawsuits, the bill for Alabama could top $2 million.
Alabama isn’t the only state enacting laws against abortion businesses and providers, but it often tops the list of states with the most restrictions on the procedures.
Patients seeking abortions in Alabama must receive state-mandated counseling and an ultrasound before the procedure. They must wait 48 hours after counseling to get the procedure and obtain parental consent if younger than 18.
Laws have been passed to mandate admitting privileges at hospitals for doctors who perform abortions, although that one has been blocked. Another law treats abortion sites like outpatient surgery centers, which must have hallways wide enough for gurneys. The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision on both restrictions sometime this year.
“This is a nationwide trend,” Watson said. “But what they do is, of course, start in the South first.”
Alabama follows the nation in a number of other important ways as well. In the state and across the nation, the number of abortions is going down. Doctors at abortion sites in Alabama performed 10,280 abortions in 2010 and just 8,080 in 2014, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The rate of abortion is lower in Alabama than the nation. In 2011, 12 percent of Alabama pregnancies ended in abortion, compared to 18 percent nationwide, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
… At the end of the last legislative session, lawmakers approved two new abortion regulations – a ban on clinics within 2,000 feet of schools and another law that would prohibit a procedure called dilation and evacuation.
Watson said dilation and evacuation is a medically-approved form of abortion usually reserved for patients in their second trimester. It is also very rare in Alabama. Only 13 of 8,080 abortions in Alabama in 2014 used that method to end the pregnancy.
Most abortions in Alabama occur before 12 weeks and employ either medication or another type of surgery, according to the department of public health.
The distance requirement would shut down two of the busiest abortion clinics in Alabama.
The West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa and All Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville perform more than 70 percent of the abortions in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Henderson said the location law was directly modeled on legislation that restricts where sex offenders can live.
“I think its strength is in that it’s about having a perverse operation near a school,” he said. “It would apply to porno places, alcohol and liquor stores. It clearly doesn’t limit access to abortion which is what ACLU usually sues over.” …
[17 May 2016, http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/abortion_in_alabama_number_of.html ]