EDITORIAL/Abortion alternatives


About 60 abortions a week are performed at the state’s only abortion clinic in Jackson.

Many Christians on Sunday marked Sanctity of Human Life Sunday to pray for an end to the scourge of abortion and promote alternatives that offer support to women in crisis, not condemnation. 

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose abortion to end a pregnancy. 

Since the ruling, more than 61 million abortions have been performed in the U.S., according to a new analysis by National Right to Life.

The Center for Pregnancy Choices in Jackson provides support and services — from parenting tips to adoption referrals — for women in a crisis pregnancy. They have been changing lives and offering hope for 30 years. Visit them on Facebook as well.

 In 2018, there were 3,005 abortions reported in Mississippi, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an organization founded in 2011 and dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion, marking the first year since 2005 that more than 3,000 abortions were reported in the state.

Abortions increased by 16 percent from the 2,594 reported in 2017. Chemical abortions also increased, rising by 13 percent from 1,811 in 2017 to 2,049 in 2018. Despite this increase, Mississippi’s abortion rate of 5.1 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age is still far below the national rate that is more than double.

A majority of the 3,005 abortions occurring in Mississippi, 61 percent, were performed on women in their 20s. 

Thirty percent were on women ages 20 to 24 and 31 percent on women 25 to 29. 

Twenty-seven percent of Mississippi abortions were performed on women in their 30s and two percent on women in their 40s. Ten percent were on girls age 19 and younger, including 13 abortions on girls under the age of 15.

A disproportionately high number of Mississippi abortions were performed on black women. Seventy-two percent were on black women, compared to just 24 percent on white women and four percent on women of other races.

CLI estimates that the black abortion rate in Mississippi was 8.5 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age, over three-and-a-half times the white abortion rate of 2.3.

Most of the abortions (over 89 percent) were on unmarried women, while just over nine percent were on women who were married. 

One percent were on women whose marital status was not reported. 

More than two-thirds of the abortions were on women who already had children; 29 percent had one living child, and 39 percent had two or more children.

In comparison, two-thirds of the abortions were performed on women who had never had an abortion before. Twenty-three percent had one previous abortion, and 11 percent had more than one.

Twenty-three percent of the abortions were performed on women who had a high school diploma as their highest level of education, while 30 percent were on women who had completed some college and 33 percent on women with a college degree. 

Nine percent of the abortions were obtained by women who had less than a high school education, and five percent were on women whose level of education was unreported.

The vast majority of Mississippi’s abortions were performed at 16 weeks of gestation or earlier. Mississippi’s single abortion center, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, performs abortions up to 16 weeks. 

Sixty-four percent were performed at eight weeks or earlier, while 17 percent occurred between nine and 10 weeks of gestation. 

Nine percent were performed between 11 and 12 weeks, and 10 percent were performed between 13 and 16 weeks. Just four abortions were reported after 16 weeks of gestation. Three occurred between 17 and 20 weeks, and one was performed at 21 weeks of gestation or later.

Sixty-eight percent of the abortions reported in Mississippi in 2018 were chemical abortions, a much higher proportion than the national average. 

Thirty-two percent were performed using suction curettage. There were two hysterectomy or hysterotomy abortions and one dilation and evacuation abortion. One abortion was performed using an unreported method. 

These are staggering statistics and Sanctity of Human Life Sunday asked how Christians, in particular, will respond.

Give to the Center for Pregnancy Choices. Be compassionate. Pick a day of the week to pray for the CPC along with other such centers. Go and volunteer. 

Become a life champion and let’s end this scourge and offer hope in Christ.

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