According to the respected Worldometer website, COVID-19 deaths in 2020 reached 1.8 million, a truly tragic and devastating number. There is no denying that we have experienced a real pandemic, and many of us have lost friends and loved ones to this virus in the last 12 months.
Yet, for every person who died of COVID—or whose death was hastened by COVID—almost 25 died by abortion. This is as staggering, horrifying. These babies died in the womb by human choice.
Professor Thomas Williams summarizes these year-end statistics, also looking at other major causes of death: "Abortion was once again the number-one cause of death globally in 2020, with a record 42.7 million unborn babies killed in the womb, according to data provided by Worldometer.
"As of December 31, 2020, there were 42.7 million abortions performed in the course of the year, Worldometer revealed, while 8.2 million people died from cancer, 5 million from smoking and 1.7 million of HIV/AIDS."
Overall, Williams writes, "Globally, there were more deaths from abortion in 2020 than deaths from cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol and traffic accidents combined, according to Worldometer statistics."
The numbers are so high they are numbing.
But every number represents a precious human life, snuffed out in the womb by choice.
Yet there is more. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, an organization not known for inflating abortion statistics, the numbers are far worse. The website states: "Roughly 121 million unintended pregnancies occurred each year between 2015 and 2019.
"Of these unintended pregnancies, 61% ended in abortion. This translates to 73 million abortions per year."
Who Can Even Grasp Figures Like This?
The entire populations of Thailand (70 million), the U.K. (68 million), France (65 million), Italy (60 million), Tanzania (60 million), South Africa (59 million), Myanmar (54 million), Kenya (54 million), South Korea (51 million) and Colombia (51 million) are each lower than the number of annual abortions as estimated by Guttmacher.
If those figures are right, abortion wipes out the equivalent of entire, significant countries every year. Gone!
If the lower, Worldometer figures are right, with as many as nearly 43 million abortions in 2020, that number is roughly equivalent to the total population of Spain (46 million) or Uganda (46 million) or Argentina (45 million) or Ukraine (44 million), just to mention a few. Abortion, in total numbers, would virtually wipe one of these countries off the map each year.
Or compare the number of abortions to the number of those killed in war. According to a 2003 article in The New York Times, "At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the 20th century." This number, too, pales in comparison to the number of lives snuffed out by abortion.
Of course, this does not minimize the pain and tragedy of each life lost in war. Or the pain and tragedy of each life lost in a car accident. Or each life lost to heart disease or cancer or COVID. But it does remind us that abortion is an unspeakable evil carried out on a massive scale worldwide.
Yet much of the global church seems almost oblivious to this, here in America, we tend to care about abortion every four years during our presidential elections, doing little else for the pro-life movement the rest of the time.
I do understand that, when it comes to worldwide abortion statistics, in some cases, abortions are a government-enforced choice. This happens in China, despite the fervent opposition of the expectant parents.
There are also the heartbreaking cases involving rape or incest or the extreme poverty of the parents, whose children already are on the verge of starvation. And there are the abortions performed to avoid bringing a severely-handicapped child into the world, who might only suffer a few months of agony before dying.
Not every abortion decision can be dismissed as cavalier or selfish, even if every decision to abort can be morally opposed based on the humanity of the child in the womb.
But in tens of millions of cases, the decision to abort is not based on a heartbreaking, agonizingly-complicated situation which presents a difficult moral dilemma. Instead, it is based on personal preference or convenience.
This is the horror of abortion, and this makes it one of the great sins of the human race.
And the number of abortions worldwide is growing: "Between 2010-2014, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that approximately 56 million abortions occurred each year around the globe. This is up from an estimated 50 million abortions per year between 1990-1994."
This leaves me with two takeaways: the first, a call to action, the second, a simple reflection.
As for the call to action, let us each make a fresh determination to be a force for life in 2021. Check out the Love Life website for practical ways that you can make a difference. Every single life counts.
As for reflection, it is simply this: when the No. 1 cause of death worldwide is abortion, we can safely say that the only reason we continue to exist as a race is by the sheer mercy of God.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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