More than two-thirds of the abortion clinics in the United States have closed since 1991, according to a new report by a pro-life activist organization.
There were nearly 2,200 abortion clinics in 1991, estimates Operation Rescue. Today, there are just 713 clinics.
"The pro-life movement has made significant strides exposing and closing abortion clinics and shifting public opinion toward the pro-life position," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, in a statement Tuesday. "This has resulted in lower abortion rates."
Kansas-based Operation Rescue has created a map that shows all the abortion clinics in America and their location. The group claims a general relationship between access to abortion clinics and the abortion rate in each state, with states with greater access having higher abortion rates.
The release of the research project on abortion clinics coincides with the launch of Operation Rescue's latest campaign, "Project Daniel 5:25." The campaign is named after the story in the Book of Daniel of the writing on the wall that predicted the fall of a kingdom that turned away from God.
"The days of legal abortion in this nation are numbered," Newman said. "Pro-life sentiment continues to gain ground as abortion support slips. Abortion clinics continue to close as demand decreases and as abortionists are increasingly exposed and reported to the authorities by pro-life groups."
Newman encouraged pro-life activists to work within the law and monitor clinics for criminal violations and other "suspicious acts" and report it to law enforcement officers.
"We can do more than simply protest abortion clinics," he said. "We can document their illegal and dangerous behavior and work within the law to close them down.
"With a pro-life watchdog group at every clinic reporting what they see to the authorities, we will certainly see more abortionists criminally charged and abortion clinics closed."
The report was released as the U.S. Senate wrangled over adding language to the health care bill that clearly bans federal funding of abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or to save a woman's life. On Tuesday, however, the Senate defeated the Nelson-Hatch amendment that would have barred funding of elective abortions.
Pro-life groups lamented the loss and vowed to expand their grassroots campaign to oppose the health care bill. For the past few months, pro-life activist groups have waged media campaigns and urged their members to flood senate offices with phone calls and e-mails asking lawmakers to support an amendment that would ban funding of the procedure.
"As it stands today, there should be no question about opposing the Senate health care bill," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, after the defeat of the Nelson-Hatch amendment. "If you call yourself pro-life and genuinely care about preserving true common ground, you cannot possibly vote for this bill. Pro-Life senators – the sponsors of Nelson's amendment included – must oppose this legislation."
On the Web: www.operationrescue.org