How they’re bringing in business

There seems to be a lot more focus on “women’s health” – liberal code for abortion – than there was several years ago. Why?

Here’s a clue: Last week, the Guttmacher Institute released a report on the frequency of abortions in the United States. The abortion rate in this country has not been this low since 1973, the institute reported.

In 1991, the rate of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 was 26.3, according to Guttmacher. By 2011 the rate had plummeted to 16.9 (it was lower in West Virginia, at 7).

Look at those numbers: From 1991 through 2011, the rate of abortions decreased by nearly 36 percent. That translates to about 137,000 fewer abortions. During the same period, the number of abortion providers in the United States decreased by 73, to 1,720 in 2011.

Now, go back to 1973. Then, according to Guttmacher, the abortion rate was 16.3. By 1980, it had exploded to 29.3.

Life – or, more accurately, death – was good for abortion providers. Their business had expanded. So had the money rolling in from women having their pregnancies terminated (state and, to a much lesser extent, federal governments pay for lots of abortions – about 180,600 in 2010).

Beginning to get the picture? For some time, the abortion industry was wide open. But during the past 20 years, increasingly so from 2008 to 2011, business dropped off drastically.

So, if you’re in business and the number of your customers hits the skids, what do you do about it?

Perhaps you fight back, by condemning state legislators who enact new regulations on abortion providers, intended to really safeguard women’s health and ensure they have all the facts before their agree to having pregnancies terminated.

Perhaps you lobby for a national health care law requiring that everyone pay for insurance covering abortions. You accuse anyone asking questions about the provision of being against “women’s health” – whatever that means.

You do what you can to get new customers and to ensure it’s easy for them to find a way to have their abortions paid for, in other words.

A cynical appraisal? Well, yes. But no more cynical than the abortion industry’s reaction to a drop-off in its business.

Myer can be reached at