Ethics & Religion
November 29, 2018
Abortions and Marriages Declining in America
By Mike McManus
The number of abortions in America hit an historic low in 2015, the
latest year with complete data, when there were 638,000 abortions. Fewer
women are having abortions in recent years.
The Supreme Court legalized abortion in its Roe v. Wade decision in
By 1980 there were 1.3 million abortions, 1.4 million in 1990, and 1.2
million in 1997. The numbers have declined ever since. In 2000 the
figure was 857,000 and 765,000 in 2010. The 638,000 figure for 2015 is a
decrease of 2% from in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease
It is important to note that these figures include both surgical
abortions and "medical abortions" in which the women take pills to
induce an abortion. Medical abortions are 27% of all abortions.
However, the figures above do not include any abortions of women in
California, New Hampshire and Maryland. These states do not report their
number of abortions! With 39.1 million residents in 2015, California had
more than a tenth of the U.S. population of 321 million. It is also a
liberal state where there are likely to be more abortions than in more
Therefore, the Guttmacher Institute estimates the actual number of
abortions in 2014 was 926,000, which would include numbers from
California, New Hampshire and Maryland. That figure is 31% higher than
the official CDC number.
There is a better answer - adoption.
A woman who is pregnant out of wedlock, who has no interest in marrying
the father of the child in her womb should consider giving birth to the
child and relinquishing it for adoption. Eleven weeks ago, "John" and
"Stacy" adopted a child born to a 17-year-old girl in high school.
"We have been trying to start a family for nine years," John told me.
"We tried everything including in vitro fertilization, but nothing
Stacy added, "We wanted a child so desperately. We had a great
experience with the birth family, and could not love our baby any more."
John added, "It does not make any sense for a 17-year-old who is in high
school, to raise a child. It is tough to be a parent. I can't imagine
doing so as a 17-year-old. She went through the pregnancy and gave us
this beautiful gift."
"Everybody wins. The birth mother does not have to abort - which could
turn into a lifelong regret. A family who wants to start a family wins.
We have been able to start a family which we have been wanting. It is a
win-win situation," he added exuberantly.
In addition, it might be noted that there is a $13,460 adoption credit
for the family that takes this step to give an unrelated child a
There were 135,813 adoptions in 2015, 41% of whom were of children in
foster care. And 5,648 were adopted from abroad. That figure has fallen
from 22,710 foreign adoptions in 2005. (Russia used to be cooperative,
but now prohibits adoption of Russian children.)
What's tragic is that there were 1,605,000 births to unwed mothers in
2014 - 40% of all births! That figure is 20 TIMES the 2% unwed birth
rate of Japan! Those children - like the children of divorce - will tend
to not fare well in America.
Children of divorce or of non-marriage are three times more likely to be
expelled from school or to have a child as a teenager as are children
from intact homes, are five times more apt to live in poverty, six times
more likely to commit suicide and 12 times more apt to be incarcerated.
What can be done to reduce abortions and unwed births?
I believe churches have a major responsibility to preach and teach about
the importance of chastity before marriage, and to speak out against
cohabitation. Have you ever heard a sermon even mentioning either issue?
I bet not. Consider these grim numbers:
In 1960, 430,000 couples were cohabiting. That number soared 18-fold to
8 million cohabiting couples in 2016. That's more than triple the 2.3
million couples who married that year. While 60% of those who married
were cohabiting, 6.6 million cohabiting couples will break up short of
marriage. And couples who cohabit before marrying are more likely to
One result is that America's marriage rate has plunged. There were more
weddings in 1970 (2,159,000) than in 2015 (2,077,000). Yet the U.S.
population grew from 203 million to 319 million in those years.
It is time for the church to honor its belief in God's first institution
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
Search for any topic.
2019: Column 1965: Protecting Girls from Suicide
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Green New Deal
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
Gun Control Laws Needed
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,