The coronavirus is the worst pandemic since the 1918 flu pandemic killed roughly 50 million worldwide.
According to Johns Hopkins University data updated Sunday, 1.8 million people have died of COVID-19 since the disease first began to spread in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. Most of those reported deaths came in 2020, however.
In the United States as of Sunday, just over 350,000 have died, the most reported by any country.
Horrible as the situation may be, COVID-19 still wasn’t the biggest killer in the world in the annus horribilis of 2020. That would be abortion, which claimed 42.7 million unborn lives worldwide last year, according to data from the global statistical site Worldometers reported by Breitbart. That made abortion the leading cause of death worldwide by a wide margin, with cancer the second-biggest killer at 8.2 million.
In fact, the estimated number of abortions conducted worldwide so far in 2021 — closing in on 300,000 late Sunday morning in the Eastern Time Zone — comprise almost as many deaths as there are in the United States from COVID-19.
Worldometers — which “was voted as one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world,” according to its website, and provides COVID-19 statistics to both media organizations and national governments — bases its abortion numbers on World Health Organization data.
“According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day,” Worldometers states.
The numbers are just as grim in the United States, where Worldometers notes “nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.”
Here, over 3,000 unborn children are killed a day on average. That’s over 1 million deaths a year. And yet, not a peep from the mainstream media.
Why do these numbers not shock us?
The psychic toll of COVID-19 has to do with a corporeal, sudden sense of loss. We lived with these people, broke bread with them, worked with them, were married to them. We were their fathers, their children, their neighbors. We had vacation photos with them. We commented on their Facebook posts and went back and forth with them on iMessage. Then, just like that, they were gone.
The psychic toll of abortion is mostly invisible in part because we’ve made the deaths invisible.
How many times have you heard the “clump of cells” argument? At some point, the left culturally normalized the procedure by saying an unborn child isn’t a human being until it was “viable” outside the womb. Now, leftists don’t even pretend that much.
Some states have now enshrined the right to abortion until the moment the baby leaves the womb, purportedly because President Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court put Roe v. Wade at risk. The most contentious of these bills was in New York, where the Orwellian-named Reproductive Health Act allows abortion up until the moment of birth if it’s “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”
The bill mentions “health” 24 times, mostly in the context of abortion being health care.
“The legislature finds that comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion, is a fundamental component of a woman’s health, privacy and equality,” the legislative intent portion of the bill reads. “The New York Constitution and United States Constitution protect a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion, courts have repeatedly reaffirmed this right and further emphasized that states may not place undue burdens on women seeking to access such right.”
For all of those 24 mentions, not once does the bill define what “health” means.
In Massachusetts, state Democrats have taken things a step further.
Last week, overriding a veto by GOP Gov. Charlie Baker, state legislators passed the ROE Act — which, according to NPR, allows abortions after 24 weeks for reasons including “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.”
And there was a reason COVID-19 didn’t shut any of this down: Liberals made sure that even as personal protective equipment was at its scarcest and the medical system was at its most taxed, abortion was deemed an “essential” procedure.
Along with the “clump of cells” argument, we used to hear the “safe, legal and rare” feint — namely, that keeping abortion legal would mean that it would be safe for those wanting to abort their unborn child, but it would also mean we could reduce the number of abortions.
This was more of a slogan than a logical argument, and pro-abortion forces have mostly dropped the “rare” part of the equation in recent years. (Witness, for instance, the “Shout Your Abortion” campaign on social media, hardly a call to rarity.)
We don’t see the toll this takes. We don’t see the unborn children who were never able to become someone’s husband or wife. We sweep out of sight the lives they would have led, the loves they would have had, the memories they would have left behind. We don’t see the pain caused to the children killed as we shift the goalposts on abortion, allowing us to end their lives later. We barely talk about the psychic toll this takes on mothers who aborted their children, which the mainstream culture pretends doesn’t exist.
In the United States, we grieve the loss of 350,000 lives from COVID-19. Worldwide, that number is 1.8 million. Let no word I have written minimize the enormity of that loss. However, we must question what kind of world we live in when it would take 23 years of deaths from COVID-19 like we saw in 2020 to equal the number of children killed by abortion that same year.
Did you know that The Western Journal now publishes some content in Spanish as well as English, for international audiences? Click here to read this article on The Western Journal en Español!
CORRECTION, Jan. 3, 2021: This post has been updated to correct an inaccurate reference to the number of abortions performed in 2020. The 42.7 million referred to abortions worldwide, not nationwide.
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