Abortion is again the world’s leading cause of death

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“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,
And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with the blood.”

–Psalm 106:37-38, NASB1995

Abortion caused over 44 million deaths in 2022, more than the next five leading worldwide causes of death combined and more than the population of 203 of 235 nations, though other estimates put the yearly total at 73 million children aborted.


Quick Facts


The 44 million number comes from Worldometer, an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers who collect annual statistics on an array of topics. Worldometer classifies abortions as a “health” measure rather than a cause of death. The site found that there were a total of over 67 million deaths worldwide, not including abortion, out of a population of more than 8 billion.

The next five leading causes of death combined did not equal the number of abortions. Communicable diseases were the second leading cause of death with almost 13 million deaths, followed by more than 8 million deaths caused by cancer. Around 5 million deaths were attributed to smoking; alcohol-related incidents caused approximately 2.5 million deaths; and AIDS was responsible for killing nearly 2 million people.

The real number of global abortions performed may be much higher, however, as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Guttmacher Institute, both decidedly pro-abortion, believe there to be about 73 million induced abortions each year.

A recent decision by the FDA will sadly add to those killed by abortion, after it changed rules expanding the types of establishments that can provide abortion pills. Yesterday, the FDA finalized a rule change which allows retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and mail-order companies to supply mifepristone, one of the pills used in chemical abortions. In addition, women will no longer be required to speak to a medical provider in-person before purchasing the pills, but instead can obtain a prescription via a telehealth consultation.

Previously, only certified doctors were allowed to prescribe mifespristone and the FDA required that it be administered in person; during the COVID pandemic, the FDA suspended that rule.

On Wednesday, national retailers CVS and Walgreens announced that they will dispense the abortion pill in states where it is legal.

Pro-lifers warn that not only will allowing women to buy mifepristone cause the death of their baby, but it poses risks to women that pro-abortion advocates don’t disclose to them. The Charlotte Lozier Institute has released a document warning of the risks, some of which include:

Despite these shocking developments, pro-lifers say that there is reason to be optimistic and thankful.

Estimates show that over 100,000 babies have been saved in the U.S. since the overturn of Roe v. Wade last June. Analysis from the Society of Family Planning showed that abortion dropped by about 100 percent in some states from April to August of last year. Nationwide, abortion decreased by 6 percent. Meanwhile, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America estimates that approximately 175,000 abortions have been prevented by pro-life laws.

One of the primary sins Israel committed in the Old Testament was that of child sacrifice. Psalm 106:37-38 tells of Israel’s rebellion:

“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,
And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with the blood.”

1 Kings 17:17-18 detailed another time when the innocent were horrifically sacrificed and described how God responded:

“And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.”

Little could possibly be more twisted than taking the child that God so graciously granted and sacrificing him or her to a false god. Many of these gods were worshipped in order to gain some form of personal benefit, so parents sacrificed their children to demons.

Today, child sacrifice bears a different face: abortion. Rather than sacrificing to Baal or Molech, most abortions today are sacrifices to selfish desires or anxieties. While the names may have changed, the demonic nature of this act has not. There is little difference between throwing your child into the fire so a god will grant you a good growing season and chemically burning or dismembering your child to avoid an expense or to enable a carefree life.

God hated the killing of children 2,700 years ago and He hates it now; a world that kills so many of its children is angering the Lord. May we pray for His mercy on our land, a renewal of wicked hearts, and a worldwide recognition that babies in the womb are precious and deserve to live.


Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.