We must pick up and use the fact that the abortion rate is declining, rather than get sidetracked into a fight about its immediate causes and consequences. Even if it were true (which I doubt) that the greater availability of contraceptives (rather than pro-life educational and law reform efforts) is the primary cause of this decline, and the greater use of contraceptives (rather than more babies being born) is its primary consequence, this trend would be extremely advantagous for the pro-life movement.
As Rachel MacNair has pointed out in her written works, especially in Achieving Peace in the Abortion War
(2009), the trend downward in abortions helps us in at least two ways:
First (whatever may be the cause of the decline in the abortion rate), the less important abortion becomes in peoples’ lives, the easier it will be to restrict it. The so-called “reliance interest” identified in Casey diminishes.
Second, if abortions decline, we can use that in a narrative that says that the American people are rejecting abortion. This narrative is useful in reaching those who want to jump on bandwagons (or “be on the right side of history”). But also, and perhaps more importantly, it can help us reach patriotic Americans (i.e., the overwhelming majority of Americans). As long as we are heard to be saying in effect “America is engaging in a holocaust in some ways worse than that of the Nazis”, good and loyal Americans will turn away, will refuse to hear a message so disturbing — or if they do hear and believe it, they may just lose heart. But with this decline, we can now say instead “Some American judges and politicians may still be pro-abortion, but the American people are realizing how tragic abortion is, and they are continuing to turn away from it.” Both narratives are true, in my judgment, but why not use the one that has the greater power to change minds and hearts? Non-violence builds on hope, not on despair.