My ears tend to perk up when I see headlines discussing the current decline of abortion rates in this country. I enjoy reading what the prognosticators have to say about this downward trend. I am also intrigued because many of these headlines and subsequent stories are written by and for abortion proponents.

These stories typically tickle all the right buttons for the abortion lobby as they tout the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, and their desire to get birth control in people’s hands as early as possible. Many of these writers also use their stories to point out that this decline is a bad omen for women’s rights and the progress that has been made since 1973.

I would agree that this decline in abortions and unplanned pregnancies deserves our attention and discussion. Admittedly, my observations and lens through which I see the world are much different than that of the abortion lobby, but I do think there is room for a productive discussion on how we have reached a point in society where unplanned pregnancies and abortion rates are declining at a significant pace.

I have also heard some arguments that point to the usage of Plan B to explain some of these steep declines. I will certainly concede that this drug moving from Rx to OTC in 2006 played a role, but we are doing ourselves and our movement a disservice when we act as if our work and the progression of medically focused pregnancy resource centers have not impacted our communities and society as a whole for life.

Oftentimes, the barrier to having a productive conversation is that those of us on the side of life are usually silenced and maligned. The silencing of those with differing opinions will never produce positive results and will always make our discussions one-sided.

With all the above acting as a precursor, let’s now look at some life-affirming reasons to explain this decline in abortion numbers.

It is no coincidence that the decline of abortions and unplanned pregnancies has occurred during the rise of medically trained pregnancy resource centers, the progression of ultrasound scanning, and the engagement of the local church in the matter of life.

There are thousands of clinics operating in this country providing love, service, and care for women in need – women that are looking for answers and options. Many of these women are scared, confused and in search. Some might find it difficult to pin down what it is these women are searching for, but I think the answer is pretty clear. They want to be heard, loved, and shown that they have value.

This is the mantra of our work. We do not seek to prey on the vulnerable in hopes that our budgets will grow. We believe that our work is vital to the cities and communities in which we reside. Indeed, so vital, that we will provide these services at no cost to our patients.

It is this mantra, coupled with great care, that has helped in bringing the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies down. We have real data that shows ultrasounds assist in the decision making of our patients. I cannot speak for all, but at HOPE we know that 85% of those that see an ultrasound choose to carry their baby to term.

This number is staggering and points to the frustration of the abortion lobby and why they seek to rid policies of requiring ultrasounds. This scientific advancement hurts their narrative.

The medical advancement in the pregnancy resource community is telling, but it has a wonderful partner in this work as well – the local church. It is this partnership that funds, equips, and assists with the care of women and men in need.

Thousands of churches across this country have made a conscience effort to stand for the most vulnerable in our society, both in and out of the womb. Just in the last two months, I have visited nine churches to speak to their congregations about life and the work being done in pregnancy resource centers. This has become the norm in my role as an Executive Director of one of these said clinics.

The issue of abortion and life is not a topic to be discarded or neglected. It is one that deserves our voices, because people, created in the image of God, are being affected. When one discards the issue, one is forced to discard the people affected by the issue.

The decline we are seeing in abortion numbers in this country is due to a myriad of elements, but I believe one of the overarching and driving factors must be the work and partnership of the pregnancy resource center and the local church. Thousands of men and women choose to get up every day and provide care for the vulnerable in our society. Let us not lose sight of this truth as we have this discussion.

Your work is making a difference. I know it, the abortion lobby knows it, and the numbers prove it.

Join us in saving lives today.

Andrew Wood

Andrew serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, one of the largest pregnancy centers in the Southeast, located in Knoxville, TN. When he is not discussing and promoting life issues he is at home with his wife, Erin, and their three kids, Gavin, Summer, and Evelyn.