the shape of leadership

Five FAQs About Abortion

The truth about today’s life and death debate

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Here are five frequently asked questions about abortion and the information you need to address them.

How many lives does abortion claim today?
Each year in the U.S., abortion snuffs out the lives of more than half a million human beings created in the image of God.

In 2014 (the most recent year for which published statistics are available), there were 652,639 induced abortions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 1,000 live births that year, 186 babies were aborted.

Abortion sometimes claims the lives of women as well. According to the CDC, “In 2013, the most recent year for which data were available, four women were identified to have died as a result of complications from legal induced abortion.”

Who is having abortions?
CDC data reveal that women in their 20s accounted for the majority (58.9 percent) of abortions in 2014. Nevertheless, there were 10.6 abortions for every 1,000 18-year-old women, and 14.3 abortions per 1,000 19-year-old women.

The vast majority of women obtaining abortions in 2014 were single (86 percent). Six in 10 were already moms, with 46 percent having given live birth to one or two children and 14 percent delivering three or more children.

Abortion disproportionately ends the lives of minority children, especially those of black women. According to the CDC, there were 23.2 abortions per 1,000 black females aged 15 to 44 in 2014. The rate was 6.9 abortions per 1,000 white females in the same age group. Among 15- to 44-year-old females of other races, the rate was 16.6 abortions per 1,000.

When are most abortions performed?
About 92 percent of abortions performed in 2014 happened within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, with 8 percent taking place in the second trimester or beyond.

However, teens tend to obtain abortions later, with 23 percent of adolescents younger than 15 years of age and 13 percent of those ages 15 to 19 obtaining abortions 13 weeks or more into the pregnancy, according to 2014 CDC data.

How many Americans support abortion?
Abortion has long been a divisive issue. In 2017, 57 percent of American adults said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 40 percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases, according to Pew Research Center. These figures have shown little change since 1995.

Is the abortion rate increasing or decreasing?
Fortunately, the number and rate of abortions have declined in recent years, dropping 21 percent and 22 percent, respectively, between 2005 and 2014, the CDC reports.

Nevertheless, on average, more than 12,000 unborn children die each week in abortion clinics. This staggering loss of life should grieve the hearts of believers and drive us to pray, participate in the legislative process and reach out with compassion to struggling women to help them choose life.

The Assemblies of God is unashamedly pro-life,” the Fellowship’s position paper on the topic notes. “…neither science nor medicine can declare an arbitrary time during pregnancy when human life begins. The Bible indicates that human life begins at conception (Job 31:15, Psalm 139:13–16). Because of the sacredness of human life, the matter is settled by theological statement of Scripture, not by a medical determination of viability outside the mother’s womb.”

Read the full position paper here.

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