Credit Abstinence

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 31 — The number of abortions in Illinois hit a 30-year low in 2004 with pro-life groups crediting abstinence programs aimed at teens as the primary cause.

Official records show 41,577 abortions were performed in the state in 2004, down 2 percent from 2003. Except for 1993-1994, when figures were incomplete or unavailable, the 2004 number ranked as one of the lowest on record since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973.

“The pro-life movement is showing it’s having an effect on people’s decision what to do with the life of their unborn child,” said Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois.

Making Abortion Rare

THE WASHINGTON POST, Dec. 27 — Largely because of the state’s strong pro-life movement, South Dakota is “becoming a leading national laboratory for testing the limits of state laws restricting abortion,” reported the Post, though not gleefully.

In 2005, the South Dakota legislature passed five laws restricting abortion. A 17-member abortion task force issued recommendations earlier this month that included new abortion restrictions.

Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was portrayed as precisely the kind of lawyer and jurist who has encouraged and sanctioned incremental laws that discourage abortion, and who would help bring South Dakota’s approach to the rest of the nation.

Lesson Learned

THE GAZETTE, Dec. 22 — Melissa was determined to “get rid” of her unborn child, reported the Montreal daily. But as she saw her baby’s heart beat on the ultrasound-image monitor, the 16-year-old girl wavered.

“That’s when I realized what I was doing wasn’t right,” she said. While the teenager, who is identified only by first name, went through with the abortion under threat from her parents, she resolved not to make the same mistake again.

Now 19, Melissa struggles to care for a 10-month-old son on the minimum-wage income of her 19-year-old boyfriend.

The Gazette prominently showcased Melissa’s pro-life views in a story as part of a series on those aided by the newspaper’s Christmas Fund.

Pro-life Tags Prevail

KATC3, Dec. 26 — A federal appeals court split on whether to reconsider an earlier ruling that said Louisiana can issue pro-life license plates, reported the New Orleans TV station.

Sale of the plates had been blocked pending the decision.

The decision raises the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the constitutionality of laws in 14 states that permit “Choose Life” plates because the recent decision of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is at odds with the Virginia-based 4th circuit, which struck down an identical program in South Carolina in 2004.

Added revenue from sales of the plates go to agencies that help women with unplanned pregnancies and those considering adoption.