JEFFERSON CITY, January 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - According to newly released State Department of Health figures, Missouri women had 1,019 fewer abortions in 2010 than in the previous year – a 9.4 percent decline. 

The 9,796 abortions performed on Missouri women in 2010 marks the first time these numbers were below 10,000 since 1973, the year Roe v. Wade was decided.  The peak year was 1980 when 21,671 Missouri women had abortions.  The one-year 9.4 percent reduction was greater than the decrease in the five previous years combined (down 8.9 percent from 2004-2009).

Kansas health officials report that the number of Missouri girls under 18 crossing state lines to get abortions there dropped almost 20 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Reproductive Health Services (RHS) of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri – currently the only abortion clinic performing surgical abortions in the state – had fewer abortion patients.  RHS/Planned Parenthood’s annual reports indicate that for the year ending June 30, 2010, RHS performed 603 fewer abortions compared to the year before – down almost 10 percent.

RHS ended the year with a net loss of over half a million dollars (according to Form 990 returns submitted to the IRS), and cut payments to its abortion doctors by almost one-sixth.

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Pro-life leaders in the area credited a mass media campaign among other initiatives as being responsible for the saving of more than 1000 babies from abortion. During 2010, Vitae conducted eight Call-for-Help campaigns around the state of Missouri.  These campaigns helped direct women to positive abortion alternatives at a number of Pregnancy Help Centers. 

There were indoor billboards in St. Louis, outdoor billboards in Kansas City/Lee’s Summit, billboards and bus ads in St. Joseph, radio ads in Springfield, television ads in Central Missouri, print ads in The ADD Sheet in Columbia, radio ads on the state-wide Mizzou Sports Network, and Internet ads promoting YourOptions.com in Mid-Missouri.

Sam Lee, Director of Campaign Life Missouri, pointed to five factors that saved lives:  1) The 56 Pregnancy Help Centers and 14 maternity homes and agencies that provide concrete assistance to pregnant moms in need.  2)  Ongoing pro-life educational efforts from groups like Vitae Foundation.  3)  Public, prayerful witness, like the 40 Days for Life participants.  4)  New pro-life laws that make it harder for Missouri clinics to perform abortions.  5)  Prayer.

“We get caught up in numbers and statistics all the time.  We must remember the lives behind these statistics.  We pray for the 9,796 babies that were lost to abortion in 2010 and the mothers and families that have to deal with those losses,” Vitae Foundation President Carl Landwehr stated.  “At the same time, we are grateful for the lives that were saved from abortion—as evidenced by this report.”

Go here to access the Missouri Department of Health report.