Pro-life advocates have reason to celebrate on Tuesday’s 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, even though there is much more work to be done. According to the American Rights Coalition, some 1,500 abortion clinics have closed in the past 22 years. The coalition says there were 2,176 surgical abortion clinics nationwide in 1991. Now there are only 660.
Ken Brady, president of Planned Childhood Life, noted of the closures, “Abortion has been legal for 40 years this month, and 57 million babies have paid with their lives. While the pro-life movement has not ended all abortions yet, it has made some significant progress.”
For example, five states (Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota) have only one clinic each.
The report by the coalition also notes that Chattanooga, Tennessee has gone without an abortion clinic for twenty years. That makes Chattanooga the largest U.S. city without an abortion clinic.
There has also been a decline in abortions, from 1.6 million in 1990 to 1.2 million since 2005. Of that drop, Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue, said, “There are a number of reasons for the decline: malpractice lawsuits, health code violations, criminal prosecutions of either the abortionist or the clinic and disciplinary actions. When state officials discover how these clinics are being operated and how women are treated there, they have generally taken strong action and have closed many of them.”