AUBURN — There is a paradigm shift in the women’s movement.

The majesty of motherhood has co-opted “choice” for more and more Maine women.

The 2011 Induced Abortion Report from the Maine Center for Disease Control indicates that abortions in Maine plunged to a historic record low of 1,773.

That’s an amazing 23.3 percent reduction in abortions from 2010, or 538 precious children saved in just one year.

From the recent peak total of 2,689 abortions in 2007, abortions declined for the fourth straight year by 916, or 34 percent during the four-year period.

This is clearly a trend for life that cannot be denied or minimized.

The people of Maine are speaking loud and clear. Abortion is not the answer, even if the law enshrines it.

In 2011, abortions dramatically decreased in all regions of Maine.

In fact, 15 out of 16 Maine counties report reduced numbers of abortions.

Maine’s most populated counties, Cumberland and York, saw decreases in abortion by 36 percent and 31 percent respectively.

This is truly a watershed moment.

You may recall former President Clinton stating, “Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.” Why, then, is there a virtual blackout by Maine’s mainstream media of this glorious news?

There is no single, silver bullet to attribute this unprecedented decline in abortions. Decades of perseverance, education and grass-roots advocacy by thousands of dedicated and compassionate pro-life Mainers have been instrumental in bringing us to this historic moment. Pro-life organizations, pregnancy resource centers, prayer groups, valiant post-abortive women and technology are now aligned.

The marvels of modern technology have intersected with the eternal truth: Life begins at conception. Each human life has inherent value and dignity.

Thousands of ultrasound images of our pre-born babies are now the first photos of our children. Parents and grandparents proudly display these beautiful images on their iPads and on their refrigerators. At 8 weeks’ gestation, fathers and mothers can now see their tiny pre-born child kicking her legs and moving her little arms up and down. It is clear to see that she just wants a chance at life, and a chance to live.

Pro-choice advocates and the abortion lobby would have you believe that the reduced number of abortions in Maine is due to increased contraception and sex education. But a closer look at the numbers tells a different story, particularly with sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea.

The Maine CDC reports that incidents of gonorrhea in Maine have quadrupled in the past four years. There is now an alarming worldwide rise of this STD that is resistant to most drugs, concerning public health officials.

Economists could opine that Maine’s “graying population” or reduced births may be responsible for these low abortion numbers. But the Maine CDC Abortion Report indicates from 2007 to 2011, Maine’s female population ages 15 to 44 decreased by 5.6 percent, while those Maine residents choosing abortion decreased a whopping 37 percent. From 2007 to 2011, the ratio of abortions to the number of pregnancies dropped from 15.6 percent to 11.4 percent. Additionally, the abortion rate dropped from 10.3 percent in 2007 to only 6.9 percent in 2011.

Maine’s abortion numbers, rate and ratio have plummeted. The tide is turning. We are changing hearts, minds, attitudes and behaviors in favor of life, one precious child at a time. True compassion and caring for women and their unborn children in need will ultimately trump the hollow, barren ring of “choice.”

As abortions continue to decline at a record pace, pro-choice extremists have cranked up the rhetoric. They tout any proposed abortion restriction as a so-called “war on women” intended to “judge” or “shame” women, even though poll after poll, year after year, indicates a vast majority want restrictions on abortion. The May 2-7, 2013 Gallup Poll, for instance, shows only 26 percent favor legalized abortion under any circumstances. Does that mean 74 percent of Americans want to shame women? I don’t think so.

Yes, there is a paradigm shift. The so-called “war on women” has really become a war within the womb.

And the precious pearl deep within the womb is of inestimable value. Indeed, it is nature’s most vulnerable and prized resource: the unborn human child.

And it looks like that tiny, innocent baby is finally starting to win.

Teresa McCann-Tumidajski is executive director of the Maine Right to Life Committee in Auburn.

–  Special to the Press Herald

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