No, it's not contraception or state restrictions
Those who promote abortion would have you believe that it is state restrictions that have reduced the number of abortion facilities, and in other ways make it hard for women to get abortions -- "lack of access," in their terminology.
A look at the abortion numbers in Pennsylvania over the years, and the timing of the increase in the number of pregnancy help centers, refutes this. It is clear that, as pregnancy help centers increased, abortion numbers went down. Nothing else explains the drop. There was no sudden increase in the use of contraceptives, or of the most effective "long-acting, reversible contraceptives" (LARC). Women's opinions on abortion didn't change. The number of abortion centers didn't suddenly decrease in those first eight years, when abortion numbers began to fall sharply. And state restrictions, which were finally implemented in May 1994, may have had a statistically significant effect in the first year or two, but it would have been a one-time effect on the numbers. The decline preceded that, and continued years after.
This confirms what we find when we look at the national numbers: as pregnancy help increased, abortion numbers fell, and nothing else explained it. (See my article.)
What's the practical significance of this? If we apportion our pro-life dollars according to effectiveness, we should be giving a large share to pregnancy help. And as Vision for Life demonstrates, we should putting a good part of that money towards advertising: it costs less to increase the "reach" of a center into its community by advertising, than by creating a new center in a community already served by one.
You can see our video, which makes the case for Pennsylvania, here.
Chris Humphrey has been involved in pro-life activity of one kind or another since the late 1970s, when he first looked at the subject of abortion in seminary in Canada. He has an undergraduate degree in English (University of Toronto), and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in religious studies (McGill). He has had a varied career as a pastor, chaplain in a psychiatric hospital, editor of academic and instructional publications, semi-professional photographer, and home renovator. He is a husband of over 40 years to Edith (a Professor of New Testament), father to three girls, and grandfather to seventeen grandchildren. He lives and works in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh.