Five years or so ago, I began telling friends we could see the end of abortion as we know it, “in the next decade.” There were no guarantees, of course, and there were steps to take if we were going to see it happen. Most importantly, God would have to move.
The premise of this prediction? If those facing unplanned pregnancies chose first to come to pregnancy help ministries and organizations—75-90 percent of those who come to us choose life—the abortion industry would lose profits, eventually leading to closings nationwide.
As closings increased, the demand for abortion would drop further, until one day the last abortion center would shutter its doors.
This is not complicated. We know that even “non-profit” abortion centers like Planned Parenthood must sell abortions to keep operating. Once they lose their #1 product—or at least lose enough sales and lose profitability—they close.
All we need to do then, is become...first. The rest takes care of itself.
So, five years in to a brash prediction, how are we doing? Here are six observations:
1. Number of Abortion Centers Dropping
It’s difficult to get a handle on the exact number of surgical abortion centers, because the number fluctuates constantly. A 2017 article from Business Insider showed the number—then—at 781 and falling. A few days ago, I saw another 21 abortion centers closed this year. Still a long way to go, but the trend is in the right direction.
2. What about us?
The number of pregnancy help locations is now in the 2,700+ range, and rising. Option Line, the nation’s only 24/7 call and chat center for unplanned pregnancies, receives more than 1,000 connections each day.
Bottom line? We now have the abortion industry surrounded, with love. This is good news, too.
3. Ummm, APR is taking off
The abortion industry’s secret weapon was the two-dose abortion pill. No more. With Abortion Pill Rescue, life-affirming organizations now compete head-to-head with the abortion industry. In the first weekend of the movie, Unplanned, Option Line recorded a 30 percent jump in phone calls regarding Abortion Pill Reversal.
[Click here to subscribe to Pregnancy Help News!]
4. Services Growing
I’m enough of a fossil to remember when pregnancy help ministries could only offer pregnancy tests, material goods, and hope.
We still offer these three. But when NIFLA’s Tom Glessner told me in 1995 he could see a future where 1,000 pregnancy centers offered ultrasound, I thought he was visionary, but too visionary. I couldn’t see it. The center where I served jumped on board, however, but we were perhaps number 20.
Today, we’re more than 1,900 strong. And I visit another 3-5 centers each year which are adding ultrasound. Tom wasn’t crazy, he was right. And thankfully, the fruition of his vision is “beyond what he could ask or think,” to paraphrase one of Paul’s letters.
And—as the infomercials tell us—“that’s not all.” Today, pregnancy help organizations offer STD and STI testing, prenatal care, postnatal care, mentoring for moms and dads, in-house adoption services, I could go on.
You get the point. We’re more diverse than ever and we are winning the hearts of those who need us.
5. Are we there yet?
As any five-year-old on a long drive asks, “Are we there yet?” No. Though seven states are down to one abortion center, we’re waiting for the first state to become abortion-free.
And let’s not pat ourselves on the back for becoming the first choice for those in this situation because while we are gaining market share, we’re not first. Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers’ advertising budgets dwarf our marketing investment, and this is our own fault. We must invest more in marketing and services if we are to become the first choice. This is not optional.
6. The Good News
But, we’re closer. One wonders what might happen when the last abortion center closes in one of those seven states. Will more dominos fall quickly? They might.
What we may not realize is how close many of us are to becoming the first choice in our communities. A few marketing dollars here. An added service there. A renovated facility. A new home for our ministry. Perhaps just one more staff member to handle increased clientele.
The truth is, every pregnancy help organization and ministry plays a role in our common mission to be the first choice.
Tweet This: "The truth is, every pregnancy help organization and ministry plays a role in our common mission to be the first choice." @KirkWalden
Today, five years in to a rash prediction and with five years to go, let’s each ask ourselves, “What do we do next?”
Because our answer to “next” may unlock the door to finding “first.” And when we find first, the abortion industry is no more.