40 Years of “ROE” in Wisconsin

WFA President Julaine Appling writes:

“This week we observe the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision, in which by judicial fiat, literally breath-taking judicial activism, America embarked on its own holocaust.  The result to date—nearly 55 million unborn Americans have been murdered.  While it is a bit difficult to get any consistently reliable numbers, it appears that the US, categorized as a “developed country,” ranks high on the international scene for how many babies we legally kill each year.

In Wisconsin, it’s easier to get reliable numbers.  Since 1973 and the legalizing of this insanity, we have killed over 530,000 babies—a number that is more than the combined populations of Madison, Green Bay, Racine, Eau Claire and La Crosse.

In 2011, Wisconsin suffered 7,249 abortions, which is about 20 abortions a day.  Abortions…that word seems so sterile.  No, we legally killed about 20 unborn babies each of the 365 days of the year.  Why did we kill these babies?  Well, according to the women, the top reason was either they were “unready for responsibility” or they “[couldn’t] afford [a] baby now,” followed fairly closely by being “concerned about how a baby would change [her] life.”  Now, aren’t those just stunning reasons for murdering a child in utero?

What’s especially troubling to me in all these statistics is that in 2011, 78% of the abortions performed in Wisconsin were on women who were never married.  And another 8% were performed on women who were divorced, which means 86% of the abortions were performed on single women.  Please, please, please stop telling me that marriage doesn’t matter.  If you are pro-life, you ought to be avidly, rabidly pro-marriage.  The safest place for babies is to be conceived by men and women who are married to each other.

Moving on, just think of what we have lost with the killing of over 530,000 potential Wisconsin citizens:  teachers, preachers, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, musicians, engineers and, for all those concerned about Wisconsin’s economic future—workers and taxpayers.  The loss in every way we want to think about it is absolutely staggering.

Now, that’s the bad and the bleak news.  There is some good news for us in The Badger State.  In 1980, Wisconsin killed 21,754 babies, which was 29 out of every 100 live births in this state, and represented 20 out of every 1000 women.  After 2000, we saw our abortion numbers begin to drop and to drop pretty significantly.

In 2005, we were down to 9,817 and in 2008, we dropped to 8,229 and in 2011, we reached a record low for this post-Roe v. Wade world, with 7, 249 abortions in Wisconsin.  Those statistics are significant and impressive—but we know they aren’t just statistics.  They are real babies, real women, and real men who are affected by this life-taking decision and procedure.

Much of the drop in abortions is directly related to the excellent work by the organizations in Wisconsin that are pro-life and our collective work in getting good laws passed—laws that make it harder to get an abortion, laws that protect women from coercion, laws that require that women face some abortion facts prior to the procedure, and more.

These statistics also reflect the entire pro-life community in our state.  We have thousands of passionate, committed pro-life citizens who devote hours every year to standing up for life, leading prayer vigils, doing sidewalk counseling, working in pregnancy resource centers, post-abortive women telling their own painful stories, and citizens changing insurance companies and health care providers.

All of these have and continue to contribute our abortion numbers moving in the right direction.  However, the numbers are still way too high, and we all need to commit to trumpeting the pro-life message and doing everything we can so that one day we will see the dastardly Roe v. Wade overturned and we will recognize the personhood of the unborn in Wisconsin  and give to them the most basic of all constitutional protections—life.”


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