From Texas to Ohio, multiple states have passed anti-abortion bills this year — and Delaware might be next. In an interview with local radio station WGMD-FM earlier this week, a Republican lawmaker from Delaware called for anti-abortion laws because Americans "are just not having enough babies."
According to Raw Story, Delaware state Rep. Richard Collins has introduced two pieces of anti-abortion legislation: one that would require pregnant people to listen to the fetal heartbeat before obtaining an abortion, and another that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks. Delaware currently bans abortion after 24 weeks, per Refinery29.
"God is moving in strange and wonderful ways, folks," Collins told WGMD. "These gun bills that we talk about will save essentially no lives because it will have no impact on criminals getting [or] keeping their guns. But every single year, we kill hundreds of people in abortions.”
Collins then pointed to the declining birth rate across the country as a reason to restrict abortions, though he did not provide any evidence that abortions had any impact on lower birth rates. According to NPR, the U.S. birth rate was 2% lower in 2017 than it was in 2016, and also marked the lowest number of births in 30 years.
“You know, we have a massive problem in this country,” Collins argued, per Raw Story. “Our birth rate is way, way below replacement [levels]. You know, we are just not having enough babies.”
According to the CDC, however, abortion rates have also decreased; in fact, abortions across the United States are at their lowest rate since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. As Refinery29 pointed out, a number of factors could contribute to the fact that Americans are having fewer children, such as expensive childcare costs and more accessible birth control methods.
In Collins' view, however, women are “doing away” with their fetuses “before they have a chance to grow into these people that we need to support us.” He also insisted to WGMD that the bills he has introduced are "very, very minor," per Raw Story, and argued that they would discourage people from having abortions.
“All that we’re adding is, let them see the baby moving within them and let them hear the heartbeat," Collins said. "Just add the ability to see it move — live action — and they say about 75 percent of the women will not do the abortion.”
Collins is one of many conservative lawmakers across the country who have attempted to introduce and pass anti-abortion legislation in recent months. According to a report published at the end of March by Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute, 41 states have filed more than 250 bills to restrict abortion.
Among these states are Ohio and Georgia; earlier this month, Ohio's governor signed a so-called "heartbeat" bill that would ban most abortions after six weeks, NPR reported, and Georgia's governor is poised to sign a similar bill into law. According to The New York Times, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas are all expected to pass similar pieces of legislation in the near future.