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Abortion Around the World

Jan. 22, 2017By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Abortion is not just a problem in the United States. The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) provides data on induced abortion worldwide.

  • The number of induced abortions declined worldwide between 1995 and 2003, from nearly 46 million to approximately 42 million. About one in five pregnancies worldwide end in abortion.
  • For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15–44) worldwide, 29 were estimated to have had an induced abortion in 2003, compared with 35 in 1995.
  • The decline in abortion incidence was greater in developed countries, where nearly all abortions are safe and legal (from 39 to 26 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44), than in developing countries, where more than half are unsafe and illegal (from 34 to 29).
  • Most abortions occur in developing countries—35 million annually, compared with seven million in developed countries— a disparity that largely reflects the relative population distribution.
  • On the other hand, a woman’s likelihood of having an abortion is similar whether she lives in a developed or developing region; in 2003, there were 26 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in developed countries compared with 29 per 1,000 in developing countries.
  • More than one-third of the approximately 205 million pregnancies that occur worldwide annually are unintended, and about 20% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion.
  • Of the 23 million pregnancies that occur in developed countries, more than 40% are unintended, and 28% end in induced abortion.
  • Of the 182 million pregnancies that occur in developing countries, more than one-third are unintended, and 19% end in induced abortion (8% are safe procedures and 11% are unsafe).

INCIDENCE AND RATES

Global and regional estimates of induced abortion, 1995 and 2003

Region and Subregion

No. of abortions (millions)

Abortion rate*

1995

2003

1995

2003

World

45.6

41.6

35

29

Developed countries

10.0

6.6

39

26

   Excluding Eastern Europe

3.8

3.5

20

19

Developing countries†

35.5

35.0

34

29

   Excluding China

24.9

26.4

33

30

Estimates by region

Africa

5.0

5.6

33

29

Asia

26.8

25.9

33

29

Europe

7.7

4.3

48

28

Latin America

4.2

4.1

37

31

Northern America

1.5

1.5

22

21

Oceania

0.1

0.1

21

17

*Abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44

†Those within Africa, the Americas, excluding Canada and the United States of America, Asia, excluding Japan, and Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand

Global and regional estimates of induced abortion, 1995 and 2003

Region and Subregion

No. of abortions (millions)

Abortion rate*

1995

2003

1995

2003

World

45.6

41.6

35

29

Developed countries

10.0

6.6

39

26

   Excluding Eastern Europe

3.8

3.5

20

19

Developing countries†

35.5

35.0

34

29

   Excluding China

24.9

26.4

33

30

Estimates by region

Africa

5.0

5.6

33

29

Asia

26.8

25.9

33

29

Europe

7.7

4.3

48

28

Latin America

4.2

4.1

37

31

Northern America

1.5

1.5

22

21

Oceania

0.1

0.1

21

17

*Abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44

†Those within Africa, the Americas, excluding Canada and the United States of America, Asia, excluding Japan, and Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand

 

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The Unwanted Baby

Aug. 6, 2015By: Julia SmartAuthor Bio

The gruesome image of a tiny baby’s hand, splayed open and lifeless in its own blood has haunted me these past two weeks since the second Planned Parenthood expose was released. She is naked before a watching world; she is unwanted; she is abandoned in a pool of her own blood. The image evokes the most visceral of human emotions—helplessness, fear, disgust and shame.

10930Consider Ezekiel 16:4-5, “ And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.” Here, the prophet details Israel’s shame before a holy God. She is naked; she is unwanted; she is abandoned.

The shocking plot twist comes in verse 6 and 7, “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field.” God breaks into this gruesome scene of death. With the power of His spoken Word, He brings life from the dead and marks Israel with His love.

Israel turns away from the Father to a life of idolatry, spiritual prostitution and eventually, death. Israel serves as a reminder of our need for a love that empowers us to choose life. Indeed, He alludes to this new covenant love in verses 62 and 63 of the same chapter, “ I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”

Left to our own devices, we will turn aside from our loving Father and to the idols that litter our world, eventually leading to our own death. Our Father’s love—a love that chooses us before we ever choose it--empowers us to live through the Son’s willing sacrifice of himself. In one fell swoop, we move from bloody, lifeless and abandoned to chosen, precious and adopted.

This baby’s hand splayed out on the pie plate, lifeless and bloody points to another hand splayed out for you and me. He was naked before a watching world; he was unwanted; he was abandoned in a pool of his own blood. Instead of haggling over the price of his limbs, his murderers were haggling over his clothing. He chose death so that we could choose life.

Here is a love that is pregnant with all the power we need to choose life. Here is a love that fights for life, indeed He fought to the bitter end. Let us fight for life alongside him who already secured our victory. 

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Thoughts On Our Right To Kill Our Son

Jan. 23, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Five years ago my wife was five months pregnant. We were headed for an ultrasound to see the baby and have the doctors check to make sure everything was progressing nicely. We had done this three times before and were excited. All of our children were healthy and it never crossed our minds that the ultrasound would even take a long time. As we met with the doctor and ultrasound technician they referred to what they saw as "your child." They must have said it 50x during the ultrasound as they referred to "your child's hand," "your child's heart," etc. 

But then something changed. IMG_0192

Another doctor was brought into the room and for five minutes he stared at the baby's heart. The room was completely silent. I could tell my wife was becoming upset, but I was oblivious and thought she was overreacting. The doctor began to tell us that there was a tumor on our child's heart and started to run down all the scenarios we were now faced with. 

Then the doctor said to us: "If the fetus is abnormal and that is management problem for you, you have options." 

Let that one sink in for a moment.

The slight change in wording tells the story. I was in too much shock to respond, but later it dawned on me what he had done. The child my wife was carrying was only a child if we wanted to keep it. There were over 4,000 abortions in the US the day we were given the option to add one more. We had the right to determine whether this child would be allowed to live. If we did not want the baby, it was only a fetus.

There is of course, deep down, a selfish side in all of us. We tell ourselves we would never do "x" in any situation. Then you find yourself in that situation and your mind wanders. Kids limit us in many ways. A child with special needs - my life as I knew it would have been over. It was in that moment I understood for the first time in a real way that parenting is a joyful giving up of your time. Of course the rewards are great, but while having met many wonderful families with special needs kids, I wondered if I would be up for the task. Would I, despite my theology, be willing to murder my son? Would I reason that it wouldn't be a good life for him or that other children would be so negatively impacted, that my decision was really about management?

Three weeks later we came back for another ultrasound. The growth on the heart was not a tumor, but a normal variant. In the doctor's eyes, our child was a baby again. In our eyes, nothing had changed. I was never given the chance to truly choose life in a hard situation, but then again, it was never my choice to begin with.

I have pondered this event many times now that my son is approaching five. I am still in shock over it. Not a surprised kind of shocked. More of sadness and disgust. As my wife and I have considered that conversation multiple times over the years, we have felt a large pull to help the Right to Life movement. Here are a few things for busy people to fight for the life of children not yet born:

1. Pray. Pray for the moms who are considering the abortion, the families who want to adopt the children and the doctors who want to murder them.

2. Engage. Take part in the Right to Life March. Engage your pro-choice friends in sane and calm arguments. Scott Klusendorf's book The Case for Life might really help you in this regard. The best argument to start is a simple one: Ask what the person you are debating what they think the mother is carrying. How they answer that question will guide your conversation. You never know how winning one person over to the pro-life side may impact the life of a child.

3. Make some money. Figure out a way to make more in order to buy an ultrasound machine for a pregnancy center or help a couple with the costs of an adoption. Continue to debunk the myth that Christians stop caring for babies after they are born.

4. Think about foster care or adoption. I have friends who adopted a child of a young teenager who, despite her parent's wishes, carried the baby to term. Our family has a beautiful little two-month-old in our home right now. She is our foster daughter, the second one we have had, as we debunk the myth Christians don't care for children once they are born.

5. Love your own kids. They are sweet little image bearers in need of a great and merciful Savior. I don't want to be known as an advocate for an unborn child and not an advocate and provider for my own!

Is there more that could be done? Yes! As we mourn Row v. Wade, let us engage in a variety of ways to care for the unborn, to address the reasons people consider abortions, train apologists to defend the unborn, create compelling videos and print material, advocate for children who need to be protected, open our homes to orphans, vote for legislators who will outlaw murder,, and more.

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From Conception to Birth: Visualized

Apr. 29, 2013By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

This is just amazing. Go to the 1:57 mark to skip the introduction.

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My Child in 3D

Jan. 19, 2012By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Right to Life Sunday has new meaning for our family.  You may remember a post back in November where I told a personal story of a doctor changing the wording from child to fetus when explaining the option to abort my wife's pregnancy because of a potential tumor on our child's heart. I have had a lot of time to reflect on that conversation and things I might have done better when talking with the doctor.  

First, I should say that we had another ultrasound.  This one was in 3D.  Does that look like a human?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures gave my wife some solace after she has been kicked and punched so often by our child.  So there he/she was, the child with the identical nose of our other three the doctor offered to abort if there was a heart problem.  

I've wondered how to pray about this whole thing.  At our church, over 150 children have been born or adopted this past year.  With so many pregnant women there are bound to be hard situations.  Autism, rare diseases, physical and mental disabilities are all part of web of life at Bethlehem.  We even have families the purposefully adopt "special-needs" children.  I read Greg Lucas's book Wrestling with an Angel last month and imagined what my life could be like.  I've also had friends over the last few months who didn't receive the good news we did.  So I have prayed along these lines:

Lord, I don't know what to pray for.  I love you.  I trust you.  You have never hurt me to harm me. I can look back and see your marks of grace and mercy all over my life and look ahead and see storm clouds.  You know what is coming my way.  I want to pray for healing, but I know you are knitting together this child for your glory.  This is not some punishment, though some I am sure believe this.  Our child is yours.  I have friends with many difficult circumstances regarding their children.  We are all laid bare by the hand we have been played. So I pray for strength.  For those with special children with difficult needs, give them grace to overcome, to be patient and to not be jealous or dream of what they wish their child would be.  Help them to love their children, to love their spouse.  Protect their marriage.  It's hard enough with three healthy children, I can only imagine what it would be like with a child that takes up as much time as the other three.  Still, I am not sure how to pray.  So strengthen my wife, my children and me.  Be with us.  That will be more than enough.

This prayer is full of tension, but that is the point!

I was recently reading an exchange Sam Crabtree had with a pro-choicer.  My conversation did not go so well.  I have read The Case for Life and should have been ready to respond when the doctor gave me the options.  But I froze, still in shock at the news.  Of course, most conversations go better when they are rerun in our head and played out in imaginary conversations.  I have never lost an argument with my wife this way, and I have convinced the doctor that my child has a right to life at least 100 times these past months.  I think it is good that I froze.  It means next time I am ready.  Ready to say that physical disability does not make anyone less human.  That the potential nuerological disability does not make anyone less human.  This is what it boils down to - is the picture being taken during the ultrasound a human being or not?

So on this Right to Life Sunday I will probably look over at my wife and watch my child hit her so hard that the book resting on her stomach is knocked right off.  Yes, that is my child, not just a fetus.

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