July 29, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – A total of 12,266 babies died in 2001 by resident Missouri abortions, according to Missouri Department of Health statistics.
The figure for 2002 will be released in October.
Aborting 12,000 babies a year has become the norm in Missouri, an examination of the last four years of statistics show. The loss of life is equal to wiping out the entire population of the city of Marshall every year for four straight years.
In 1980, the carnage was worse, with a total of 21,671 resident Missouri abortions. That would be like killing every resident of Liberty, state statistics reveal.
"I believe that abortion has been and continues to be the greatest tragedy facing our society and our nation," said Nile Abele, executive director of Open Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center, which has branches in Columbia, Jefferson City and Fulton. A fourth center will open in Moberly in September.
"The challenge for God’s people is to rise up to God’s command to live out our pro-life beliefs rather than succumb to the apathy of the world on this issue. When the church becomes passionate about the sanctity of life, we will begin to see this ongoing tragedy averted for our next generation."
Joey Davis, Missouri state director for Concerned Women for America and a member of First Baptist Church, Branson, would like to see more women take advantage of facilities like Open Arms.
"Women’s hearts are for their children," Davis said. "It is not natural for mothers to take the lives of their babies. The alternative is really for women to know the truth and to return to God’s position. That is the critical thing."
Rodney Albert, chairman of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission and pastor of Hallsville Baptist Church, said that abortion ought to be our primary concern.
"Abortion is the issue relating to America’s future," Albert said. "If we cannot protect the unborn, everything else is almost a moot point. If we can’t value human life at its most vulnerable state, then there’s little hope that we would ever return to the moral foundation of our founding."
There have been more than 42 million abortions in the United States since 1973, according to National Right to Life, which closely monitors abortion activity in the United States. In 1997 alone, 1,328,000 babies were aborted. That is more than all of the Americans who died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf Wars combined, pro-life leaders point out.
Open Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center will hold its Walk for Life fundraiser Sept. 27. Open Arms provides pregnancy tests, counseling, maternity/baby clothes, post-abortion counseling and spiritual guidance. Those interested in participating should call Abele at (573) 874-3561.