The Associated Press reported this week that abortions have decreased nationally by 12 percent since 2010.  This is an encouraging sign showing that hearts and minds are changing on the issue of abortion.  Where’s the momentum coming from?

First, as technological improvements, such as 4D ultrasounds, continue to show the humanity of the unborn child, more mothers reject abortion. In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), found that 78 percent of mothers considering abortion who viewed an ultrasound image of their unborn child chose life. 

Second, science also confirms that unborn children feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization.  The pro-life movement is the one that is rooted in science and medical facts. As more people learn about the actual development of the unborn baby, it becomes that much more difficult to deny her humanity.  In fact, the House passed and the U.S. Senate tomorrow is introducing a bill to protect unborn pain-capable babies from abortion.

Third, states have enacted more laws in the past four years than in the entire decade previous. These laws save lives.  Surprisingly, abortions are down even in liberal states like New York, Washington and Oregon, which maintained unrestricted access to abortion, the AP reports.

Dr. Michael New expresses some caveats to the good news.  He notes that the survey should have focused on abortion rates instead of abortion numbers and that abortion data from state health departments can be unreliable because of less rigorous reporting standards. Even so, he says that a smaller percentage of women with unintended pregnancies are having abortions. Pulling from Guttmacher Institute data, he explains that the percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion fell from 54 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 2008.  He also reminds us that since 1990 when abortions in the U.S. peaked, they have declined by approximately 34 percent since then.

There’s good reason for hope in the pro-life movement as technology and science continue show us the humanity of the unborn. As more states enact pro-life legislation and as public opinion continues to shift on the side of life, the momentum is likely to continue.  Let’s be encouraged as we continue to work to dismantle legalized abortion in the U.S. and relegate it to a dark chapter of our history.  Our future rests in the protection of the lives of our unborn brothers and sisters in the womb.