Archive for December, 2015

5 Important Abortion Stats

There is a lot of rhetoric about how many women obtain abortions but let’s take a moment to take a look at the actual statistics.

(1) Since 1973, an estimated 58,500,000 babies have been aborted in our country.

In the US this year, there will be over 1 million abortions. Planned Parenthood will perform approximately a third of those abortions, making it the largest abortion provider in the country. (Life Matters) The U.S. has the highest abortion rate among developed nations. (Guttmacher Institute)

black-baby(2) Abortion disproportionately impacts the African American population.

According to data compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, the abortion rate and abortion ratio were the highest for the African American population.

For every 1,000 African American women, there were 24.6 abortions obtained (referred to as the abortion rate). In comparison, for every 1,000 Caucasian women, there were 7.1 abortions obtained. Thus, the abortion rate was 246% higher for African American women.

For every 1,000 live births by African American women, there were 365 abortions obtained (referred as the abortion ratio). In comparison, for every 1,000 live births by Caucasian women, there were 114 abortions obtained. Thus the abortion ratio was 220% higher for African American women.

(3) Abortions are most frequently obtained by women 29 and younger.

Women in their 20’s account for more than half of all abortions: 33% of all abortions are obtained by women aged 20-24; 24% of all abortions are obtained by women aged 25-29. Teenagers obtain 18% of all abortions in the country. (Guttmacher Institute, Fact Sheet, July 2014)

(4) Approximately 21% of all pregnancies end in abortion.

(Guttmacher Institute, Fact Sheet, July 2014)

(5) According to the Guttmacher Institute, the reasons given for having an abortion were:

  • Responsibility to other individuals (75%)
  • Cannot afford a child (75%)
  • Having a child would interfere with work, school, or ability to care for other children (75%)
  • Do not want to be a single parent or having problems with their partner (50%)

Does Planned Parenthood Provide Health Care?

Planned Parenthood says that it is “America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.” It claims to provide a wide range of safe health care options for women including offering contraception, reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood states that caring physicians, nurse practitioners, and other staff take time to speak with clients about their health concerns. But what does Planned Parenthood actually do?

Primary Care Services

Only a mere handful of Planned Parenthood clinics actually provide primary care services. According to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, 0.37% of its customers received family practice services (primary care) in 2012. Moreover, unless a woman is getting an abortion, most never see a physician.

4058808950_77cc4e8618_oPlanned Parenthood’s reported adoption referrals has been at a ratio of 1 adoption referral to 201 abortions performed. From 2009 to 2013, Planned Parenthood has cut its prenatal services by more than 50%.  According to analysis by Americans United for Life, Planned Parenthood has decreased its prenatal services/ clients by an estimated 70% under Cecile Richards’ leadership. In 2013, abortions accounted for over 98% of Planned Parenthood’s”pregnancy-related services” (defined to include abortion, adoption referrals, and prenatal services).

Contraceptive Services

Planned Parenthood brags about how it reduces the spread of STIs and unintended pregnancies by offering free contraception. What many don’t know, however, is that these free condoms offered by Planned Parenthood received poor ratings from Consumer Reports in 2005.

Planned Parenthood also fails to explain to its clients that contraceptives work, at least some of the time, by killing a new human being.

Cancer Screening

Planned Parenthood and its supports have long claimed to provide mammograms. In her September 29, 2015 Congressional testimony, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards clearly stated that none of its affiliates, in fact, offer mammograms or have mammogram machines in its clinics.

Indeed, under Richards’ leadership, Planned Parenthood’s cancer screening, including breast cancer screenings have been cut by more than 50%, from over 2 million in 2006 to approximately 935,000 in 2013.

So What Does Planned Parenthood Do?

Instead of being focused on providing health care to women, Planned Parenthood has strategically sought to increase the number of abortions it performs. From 2005 to 2011, Planned Parenthood has gone from performing one out of every five abortions in the U.S. in a year to nearly one out of every three abortions. Planned Parenthood performs nearly 900 abortions every single day in our country.

Planned Parenthood is not a health care organization.

Hope and Mercy Beyond a Single Year

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matt. 5:6

Tuesday, September 1, brought us the ninth video from Center for Medical Progress, this time revealing a decade-long relationship between some Planned Parenthood affiliates with tissue procurement companies and more revelations about how Planned Parenthood received financial benefits from these arrangements. Most of us are probably sickened every time new revelations are made, and rightly so, when we consider the callousness with which people are discussing pregnant women and babies in the womb.

For some individuals, however, these videos may bring forth even greater angst because they touch on something very personal – a poignant reminder of their abortion. Imagine having to wonder if your baby ended up being dissected and sold or was discarded in a dumpster. It can be easy to be consumed by feelings of regret, shame, anger, and sadness.

perryville_oym_20140610_9137-300x200Hope exists, however. It comes in the merciful forgiveness of God. There is no sin so great that God cannot forgive if we but ask. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest, acting with the authority of Christ and the Church, is able to forgive sins, washing us clean. The Sacrament allows us to be reconciled with God and with the Church, offering peace and consolation.

Mercy, in a Christian understanding, should not be merely a passive reception; rather, we are called to be merciful to others. Think of the parable of the unmerciful debtor who, after having his debt forgiven in full, treated his own servant in the opposite manner. (cf. Matt. 18:21-35) As we have been shown great mercy by God who forgives us our sins, whatever they may be, so too should we treat others.

Statistics indicate that one in three women will have an abortion by age 45. For every child lost to abortion, there is also a father involved. Chances are that you will at some point encounter someone who has been directly impacted by an abortion. We should always be mindful of speaking about abortion and those involved in the abortion industry with charity as Christ would. Our ultimate goal should always be the salvation of souls. Our actions and words should reflect that. While we should not condone or participate in sinful action, we must always be compassionate to the people involved.

This is particularly true when we consider the issue of abortion. Statements like “I would never have an abortion” said in a moment of haste can do much to keep someone from seeking forgiveness and healing. Instead of talking about ourselves, we should focus what others need; particularly, compassion, love, and forgiveness. We don’t need to deny the truth of what abortion is, but we should be sensitive and charitable. We should offer resources to men and women who may have been affected by abortion.

Besides the Sacrament of Reconciliation, there are so many free resources available in our Archdiocese for those who have been impacted by an abortion. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Project Rachel (for women) and Project Joseph (for men) both offer free, confidential, and professional counseling sessions. Monthly support groups provide a safe place to share your struggles with others who are in a similar situation. Day-long and weekend retreats are offered for a deeper, prayerful healing experience. These resources are available to anyone, regardless of their faith tradition or how long it has been since the abortion occurred. Hope, healing, and forgiveness are available. Simply call 314-792-7565 or email projectrachel@archstl.org. National help is available by visiting hopeafterabortion.com or by calling 1-888-456-HOPE (4673).

Let us pray that all men and women who have been affected by an abortion may have the courage to confidently turn to the Lord for mercy and healing now, and for many years in the future.

The uneditted version of this post, by Stephanie To, first appeared in the Virtual Vestibule, the blog of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, on September 3, 2015. 

5 Things You Won’t Believe Margaret Sanger Said

Bio_Mini-Bios_Margaret-Sanger_SF_HD_768x432-16x9Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood with the intention of limiting births among those she considered unfit, including those who had physical or mental disabilities, African Americans, the poor, among others. Many would be surprised by some of the things Sanger wrote and said during her lifetime. Here are just a few quotes:

(1) “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world – that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin – that people can – can commit.”

Sanger said this in 1957 in an interview with Mike Wallace. The transcript of the interview is available here.

(2) Sanger deplored provision of assistance to women in slums to help with pregnancy and child-bearing, writing that it “encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.” (The Pivot of Civilization, p. 34)

(3) “Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.” (Woman and the New Race, p. 82)

images(4) “Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods.” (“Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” published in 1919)

(5) “There is no doubt that women are apt to look upon abortion as of little consequence and to treat it accordingly. An abortion is an important a matter as a confinement and requires as much attention as the birth of a child at its full term…In plain everyday language, in an abortion there is always a very serious risk to the health and often to the life of the patient.”

Surprisingly, Sanger fully appreciated the dangers of abortion to the woman, as demonstrated in this short quote from her article “Birth Control or Abortion?” published in 1918. While there have been advanced in medical care since 1918, abortion remains a major medical procedure with the risk of serious, even fatal, complications.