Life Matters —The Newsletter of the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Rockford
By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Associate Director, Respect Life Office
For the second consecutive year, the number of reported abortions committed in Illinois has increased. There were a minimum of 45,884 abortions in Illinois in 2000; 46,546 in 2001; and 46,945 in 2002. I say “minimum” because in Illinois there is an unusual regulation for reporting abortion statistics. For some unknown reason, abortion statistics from any given county are tallied only if 51 or more women from that county aborted their babies.
If “only” fifty or less women from a county abort their babies, the number is not included in the over-all statistics. Of the 102 counties in Illinois, the statistics for 69 counties are listed as ”less than or equal to 50.” That information—coupled with the fact that there is no guarantee that abortionists report all the abortions they commit—we really have no way of knowing for certain just how many babies in Illinois are killed in their mother’s wombs.
The statistics provided by the Illinois Department of Health regarding the total number of abortions committed in any given year must be viewed as an incomplete. These numbers represent a minimum. Keep in mind that in 69 counties we have no idea how many women aborted. In each county it could be zero or it could be 50. For the entire state the number could remain the same or increase by a maximum of 3,450. The possibility that the reported number would increase by even a single digit does make a difference. Each increase represents another dead innocent human being.
At Least Six Babies Each Day in Our Diocese
For the eleven counties in Northern Illinois included in the Diocese of Rockford, the number of reported abortions for 2002 decreased to 2,309 (from 2,457 in 2001). While this appears to be encouraging news, we must never forget that each and every day these reported statistics admit that at least six pre-born babies from our own Diocese were destroyed at the hands of an abortionist. And must never forget even one baby killed per year is one too many.
The breakdown of the number of pre-born babies killed in the Rockford Diocese by county of residence of their mothers is as follows:
Boone—91 (up from 68 in 2001);
DeKalb—192 (up from 184 in 2001); JoDaviess—unknown;*
Kane—632 (up from 597 in 2001);
Lee—unknown (down from 54 in 2001);
* McHenry—490 (down from 510 in 2001);
Ogle—69 (down from 84 in 2001);
Stephenson—74 (down from 98 in 2001);
Whiteside—60 (down from 62 in 2001);
Winnebago—701 (down from 800 in 2001).
*could be as many as 50
Early Abortions Not Reported
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) reports that “As much as 43% of the decline in abortion [nationwide] between 1994 and 2000 can be attributed to the use of emergency contraception [EC].” In this statement AGI (a special affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America—the largest single committer of abortions in this country) is using doublespeak to confuse or deceive the public.
In the first place, they have no way of knowing that the 43% figure is even close to being accurate. Secondly—and most importantly—one of the mechanisms of so-called EC is to cause a very early abortion. In its own reports, AGI admits that:
…all hormonal contraceptive methods, depending on when during the menstrual cycle a woman initiates the method, act by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, inhibiting fertilization or inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg, which in medical terms is considered to mark the beginning of pregnancy. Emergency contraception has no effect once a pregnancy has been established.
Of course, in order to accept the message that EC does not cause a very early abortion—an idea which sadly is endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)—you have to accept the new, politically correct definition of pregnancy beginning at implantation. In “obstetric terms, pregnancy begins with the first day of the last normal menstrual period, and lasts 40 weeks from that day.” In addition, the traditional definition states that “Pregnancy is the period between conception and birth when the embryo and then the fetus develop within the uterus of the mother.”
Truth is Truth
When the action of emergency contraception or other forms of hormonal birth control render the endometrium hostile to implantation, there is no doubt that a very early abortion is possible even likely—unless, of course, word games are used. While ACOG and other abortion apologists believe they can change reality by semantic engineering, the truth cannot be changed!
Once fertilization has occurred, a distinctive human being has come into existence and anything that deliberately prevents this very tiny human from implanting in its mother’s uterus causes an abortion. You can change the language, but not the reality. As Chesterton wrote, “Truth is always about something, but reality is that about which truth is.”
No Way of Knowing How Many
We have no way of knowing how many tiny humans are killed as the result of EC. Because abortion advocates have convinced government agencies and the general public that EC does not cause an abortion, statistics are not reported and of course, EC on occasion does prevent fertilization. Just as with “The Pill,” we have no way of ascertaining just how many embryos die as a result of hostile endometriums.
Any physician can write a prescription for EC. It is a tragedy, but in Illinois, even young girls can order EC over the internet (without seeing a medical professional) from four different websites including Planned Parenthood of Chicago. All the girls need is a credit card and access to a computer.
In addition to private physicians and the internet, EC unfortunately is available at Crusader Clinic-Rockford; Northern Illinois Women’s Center-Rockford; Freeport Clinic, Annex-Freeport; JoDaviess County Health Department-Galena; and the Country Center for Women’s Health-Elgin. These are the sites listed on the national list maintained by Princeton University and I am certain there are many more sites that have chosen not to be listed or are unaware of such a listing. We will never know how many very tiny, vulnerable male or females were denied a chance at life because of the sometime abortifacient action of EC.
When asked about the increased number of abortions committed in the state of Illinois, Pam Sutherland, president of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council (Planned Parenthood's statewide legislative and political office) said that the numbers were “statistically insignificant.” That should come as no surprise. Planned Parenthood is the largest single committer of abortions in the United States and 399 more dead babies would not be a “significant” matter for them.
Well, Ms. Sutherland, even one life is significant for us. Life is a gift and not one that is to be tossed out with the garbage!