It’s been 37 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman has the constitutional right to have an abortion for any reason up until the “point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’” defining viability as the potential "to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid."
And though the anniversary has typically been marked by anti-abortionists – many of which believe that life begins at conception – as a time to mourn for the tens of millions of lives that have been lost, this year’s observance is taking on a notably different tone.
The Pew Research Center revealed last year that support for abortion is slipping among most demographic and political groups.
In 2007 and 2008, pro-choice Americans clearly outnumbered pro-lifers 54 percent to 40 percent. But surveys conducted by Pew last year showed that views of abortion are about evenly divided, with 47 percent expressing support for legalized abortion and 44 percent expressing opposition.
Gallup, similarly noted a significant decline in abortion support, reporting last year that, for the first time in over a decade, more Americans told the polling group that they are pro-life than pro-choice.
Just over half (51 percent) of Americans stand for the sanctity of human life while 42 percent consider themselves pro-choice, according to Gallup's May 2009 survey. When Gallup first began asking the abortion question in 1995, only 33 percent called themselves pro-life.
“The pro-life movement has made significant strides exposing and closing abortion clinics and shifting public opinion toward the pro-life position,” reported Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, whose organization last month revealed that just 713 abortion clinics are open today compared to the 2,200 in 1991.
“This has resulted in lower abortion rates," he added.
Meanwhile, Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde has reported that the pro-life pregnancy center movement is flourishing and contributing to the growing culture of life across the nation.
"The compassionate outreach of pregnancy centers is infectious and our movement is growing," said the pro-life leader, whose national, faith-based organization supports a network of 1,180 pregnancy centers across North America.
However, Delahoyde said because of the movement's effectiveness, abortion advocacy groups are mounting an increasing number of attacks in state and local governments across the country.
“[T]hese numerous attacks on pregnancy centers call for a new level of support and partnership to defend their critical work," she expressed Friday.
Care Net is encouraging pro-lifers to contact a local pregnancy center and ask what they can do to help advocate their work. The organization is also encouraging them to track the work of groups like NARAL and Feminist Majority Foundation in their state and learn about their legislative attacks on pregnancy centers in Virginia, Washington, Maryland, and other states.
“Contact your representatives in these states to defend pregnancy centers,” the organization urged.
"Pray that the good work of pregnancy centers, the beauty of all human life, and the importance of compassionate outreach to women facing unplanned pregnancies would be communicated clearly throughout our nation,” it added.
Nationwide, pro-lifers will be joining marches and events Friday and over the weekend to continue turning the tide and rallying on behalf of the pre-born.
Since 1973, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in America.