It’s only natural that at the end of each year, we look back upon what happened in the preceding months and reflect with fondness. Or recoil in disgust.

Needless to say, the majority of year-end commentary has been on the negative side. Many of us aren’t too pleased with 2016. While it did include plenty of loss and hardship (as every year does), there were also many things to applaud.

Teen Pregnancy Reaches Record Low

New reports that came out this year showed teenage pregnancies and abortions are at an all-time low. We can all agree that these figures are a good thing.

The new report from the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, shows that abortions among teenagers in 2011 reached the lowest point since 1973 when Roe v. Wade allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

While Guttmacher said the decline in abortions was likely due to increased access to contraception, many pro-lifers believe that an increased level of pro-life education and support for moms and babies are causing the decline. Teens today are benefiting from abstinence education programs in schools and resources that show the humanity of the unborn child.

Israeli Firm Pioneers Anti-Radiation Therapy 

A biotech firm in Israel developed a placental therapy in order to combat radiation exposure from nuclear disasters.

The Haifa-based company said they have developed a placenta-based cell therapy injection that can fully cure patients with multiple organ failure caused by high radiation exposure.

Pluristem Therapeutics’ Vice President of Medical and Clinical Affairs Dr. Esther Lukasiewicz Hagai said cells grown from placentas donated by women who had undergone a C-section, are harvested to create a cocktail of therapeutic proteins which combat potentially lethal damage to the lungs, skin, bone marrow and gastrointestinal tract caused by radiation exposure.

Yaky Yanay, President and Chief Operations Officer at Pluristem Therapeutics and co-chairman of Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), said clinical trials have so far shown optimal results if the vial is injected within 48 hours of exposure to lethal radiation.

“My wish that our therapy was available five years ago when we had the Fukushima disaster or 30 years ago when we had the Chernobyl not mentioning the Second World War which was a significant exposure to radiation,” said Yanay.

Measles No Longer An Issue In The Americas  

It was announced early in September that measles had been eradicated from the Americas.

Public-health officials capped a 22-year-effort with the announcement Tuesday that they had eradicated measles from the Americas, even as it remains a leading cause of death among children in other parts of the world.

Officials said it was a remarkable achievement, noting that the Americas cover 55 countries and territories over a vast geographic area and are home to roughly 1 billion people—or 13.5 percent of the world’s total population.

The effort to eradicate measles in the Americas began in 1994. To be declared measles-free, a country must have no cases originating within its borders for at least 12 continuous months. The region’s last known endemic case occurred in Venezuela in 2002.

Voting Your Conscience In The U.S. Election

Yes, I list this as one of the good things from this year. Why? As American citizens, it is an absolute privilege to make our voices known in a free and fair election.

Far too many have looked at the election as the worst the year had to offer because of the outcome. While I didn’t support either major party candidate, the ability to make my own decision and support whomever I desired was a gift. Although the year-and-a-half long campaign didn’t feel like a present, it was certainly preferable to, I don’t know, a governmental overthrow and/or messy transition of power. We have many gripes with our elected officials, but should be thankful for the freedom we have in selecting them.

Additionally, the post-election meltdown from liberals has been something to behold. It’s even a beautiful sight to those of us who didn’t support Trump. The Left began the year thinking Hillary the Inevitable would sail through to victory. When that didn’t happen, despair overcame them. This kind of humbling experience will be good for them. Now the Republican-controlled Congress and new president can work together and achieve much. They have absolutely no excuse.

There are other positive aspects to the year that has almost passed, but these are just a few. The overwhelming consensus is that nothing good happened in 2016, but that dismisses many advancements that have been overlooked and freedoms that have been taken for granted.