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On the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, pro-lifers have something to celebrate: the closure of 1,500 abortion clinics over the past 22 years.
In 1991 there were 2,176 surgical abortion clinics nationwide; today there are 660 and falling. More than 1,500 abortion clinics, 70 percent of the total, have closed their doors for good.
In 2012, an average of seven abortion clinics closed each month.
"Abortion has been legal for 40 years this month, and 57 million babies have paid with their lives. While the pro-life movement has not ended all abortions yet, it has made some significant progress," said Ken Brady, president of Planned Childhood Life.
Five states have only one clinic each: Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The city of Chattanooga, Tenn. has no abortion clinic. Pro-lifers closed both clinics 20 years ago. It is the largest city in the nation without an abortion clinic. For more than half of the 40 years in which abortion has been legal, there is one city that has been abortion-free.
Chattanooga is an abortion-free city done right. A local doctor who used to do abortions stated in the Chattanooga Times in February 1995: "I think the pro-lifers here have been very responsible. They have used political, economic and social pressure to push their agenda, not violence."
Overall, abortions are down 25 percent from 1.6 million in 1990 to 1.2 million since 2005.
American Rights Coalition is an organization that helps women who are having physical and emotional problems after abortion. Charles Wysong, president and founder said, "We began to notice a steady decline in both clinics and abortions after we began helping injured women sue abortion clinics for malpractice in 1986."
"Slowly, doctors began finding that while abortion may be legal, malpractice is not. This accountability caused many doctors to quit or never enter the abortion practice," Mr. Wysong said.
Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue said, "There are a number of reasons for the decline: malpractice lawsuits, health code violations, criminal prosecutions of either the abortionist or the clinic and disciplinary actions. When state officials discover how these clinics are being operated and how women are treated there, they have generally taken strong action and have closed many of them."
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