Showing compassion: It pays off in Wisconsin as numbers of abortions continue to drop Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
Respect life baby poster

It’s happened again. The number of abortions in Wisconsin has dropped for the fifth straight year. Nine of the last 10 years have seen a decline in abortions in our state, making Wisconsin one of the most pro-life states in the nation, according to some commentators.

The state Department of Health Services reported that 6,462 abortions were performed last year, down from 6,927 the previous year and about 2,000 less than the 8,500 Wisconsin had in 2009.

Continued abortion decline

“Today is a fantastic news day for Wisconsin women and children,” said Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, when the report was released.

“Our steep abortion decline continues with the release of 2013 abortion numbers which reveal there were 465 fewer abortions in 2013 than in 2012. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in one year.”

Weininger added, “We are extremely grateful for each and every woman who gives life to her child and each unborn child saved from the violence of abortion. Wisconsin Right to Life will vigorously continue its multi-faceted programs which work to fuel the decline.”

Due to ‘compassionate pro-lifers’

Why do the abortion numbers continue to decline in our state? Some say it is “compassionate pro-lifers” who are contributing to the drop in abortions. Wisconsin’s pro-life community has been educating and counseling mothers to choose life for their babies instead of abortion.

It’s also important for a woman involved in a crisis pregnancy to be fully informed about the human life she is carrying, said Weininger, “and to know that she has options besides ending her pregnancy.”

In 2013, the state passed legislation which requires that a pregnant woman have an ultrasound showing the developing baby before deciding on whether or not to have an abortion. When a mother sees her unborn baby, realizes this baby is a real person, and listens to the baby’s heartbeat, this helps her make a decision to choose life.

Presence of the sidewalks

Another factor in decreasing abortion numbers is the presence of pro-life witnesses and counselors on the sidewalks outside abortion clinics in Wisconsin. Sam Guzman with Pro-Life Wisconsin said his group has witnessed many expectant women change their minds on abortion through the compassionate outreach of counselors outside abortion clinics.

In Madison, Vigil for Life provides a year-round witness outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Madison’s east side. The 40 Days for Life campaign underway until November 2 also provides heightened awareness with prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and educational efforts.

Compassionate care

In addition, there are many efforts underway to provide compassionate care to pregnant women and their families in Wisconsin.

In the Diocese of Madison area, help is provided by the Women’s Care Center, Pregnancy Helpline, and the Elizabeth House run by Care Net Pregnancy Center in Madison. There are also outreach programs offered in many parishes and communities through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, and the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison to assist families in need.

As Pope Francis has said, “All life has inestimable value; even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn, and the poor are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

Let us continue to do our part to reduce the number of abortions in our communities through prayer and compassionate support of pregnant women and families.