Abortion numbers are staggering. As of today, 28 May 2015, the US Abortion Clock, reports exactly 57,938,608 abortions since it was legalized in 1973 (stat recorded at 10:13pm EST on 28 May 2015). Worldwide that number grows to 1,336,390,870 since 1980. That’s over 1.3 billion abortions in 35 1/2 years, or 37.6 million abortions yearly.
But there are all sorts of other horrible atrocities splattered across human history. There are wars, genocides, plagues, and natural disasters. Surely abortion isn’t the worst, right?
Unfortunately, the most deadly events in human history look to be human caused, and abortion seems to be the deadliest among them. How can this be?
Abortion vs. War and Genocide
Dr. Clay Jones of BIOLA university gives a stellar talk about the nature of evil and why God allows it. Part of his case includes a gut wrenching survey of genocides. He gives brutal stats on the 3rd Reich, the Kmer Rouge, Rwandan genocide, Armenian Genocide, and the Bolshevik revolution. But bigger than all of these is abortion. Dr. Jones mentioned how over 55million abortions have been performed in the US just since 1973. The number has crawled up to almost 58 million, just in America and just since 1973. According to the U.S. Abortion Clock, that number balloons into 1.3 billion worldwide since 1980. Jones cites this unparalleled death-toll as more evidence that mankind is seriously evil needing a savior.
This move might seem errant and distracting. A lot of Americans, perhaps the majority, think abortion is excusable in many cases. Allegedly, abortion is justified as a women’s rights issue, a right of privacy, a corrective against age old sexism. But underneath this veneer of justified injustice is the reality that abortion choice advocates think it’s okay to kill very small early development human beings if they aren’t wanted by their mothers.
All of the genocides above were done in the name of corrective justice, compassion for the oppressed, and perceived entitlements by the people in power. Civilized America has no clearer example of it’s own lurking barbarism than the fact that at least half of us think it’s okay to kill innocent defenseless children-in-utero.
Horrible evils can and should terrify us. But their ferocity is only one facet of horror. Perhaps the most terrifying element in large scale evils like war and genocide is their banality. Everyday people abide vicious cruelty with indifference.
Genocidal rampages are impossible without the cooperation and complicit participation of normal sane people. We people are prone to in-group/out-group behavior (aka, xenophobia). We are prone to thinking higher of ourselves than we do of the “unwashed masses.” We find media outlets for our violent appetites. Atheists and theists alike have been known to “fly off the handle.” We tend towards complacent indifference in the face of kidnapping, abuse, rape and homicides, so long as they are committed miles away. We may assume that only sociopaths and “unhinged” people would do such evil. But we deceive ourselves if we think that we are so “evolved” that we ourselves, en masse or alone, would never commit such evils. Hindsight lets us see clearly what horrors have happened in our past.
800,000 killed in the Rwandan Genocide.
But Americans intentionally abort more human beings than that yearly.
1.7 million killed by the Kmer Rouge between 1975-79.
But America killed 2,907,270 children-in-utero in that same period.
3-9 million killed in the Crusades
But since the Crusades lasted almost 200 years, U.S. abortion numbers easily surpass this total in yearly averages.
About 11 million killed by Nazis in the third Reich, between 1933-1945
But in the same amount of time, 12 years, America has averaged almost 16.8 million abortions ( 1.398 million yearly average since 1973; stats derived from US Abortion Clock).
As many as 258,327,000 in all the wars in the 20th century.
But abortions worldwide still surpass that number 5x’s over.
About 1.5 Billion killed in all the communist revolutions in the 20th century
Surely this surpasses the death toll for abortion, right? Well, there have been about 1.3 billion abortions worldwide since 1980 and if we included the rest of the 20th century, that number would almost certainly surpass the communist death toll in that same period. The U.S. alone reports 9.4 million abortions (9,384,723) between 1960-1979–not counted in that 1.3 billion. “The Pill” (oral contraceptives) was introduced around 1960, and liberal abortion practices typically follow soon after in places like Western Europe and Australian. Russia legalized abortion in 1920, and has consistently “boasted” the highest abortion rate in the world. Not to mention, sex selective abortion has long been fashionable in China, India, and other Asian countries.
In terms of willful killing, abortion is more deadly than every known genocide or democide on record.
Abortion vs. Disease
But what about diseases and epidemics? Aren’t these killing more than abortion is?
Still no. The two leading killers, among diseases, are heart disease and cancer. Combined these total about 1.2 million (611,105-heart disease; 584,881-cancer). But Abortion has been killing 1.4 million annually (on average). That makes abortion more than 2x’s more deadly than the deadliest disease in America.
According to one healthcare site the three deadliest epidemics were:
3. The Black Death (about 50 million deaths)
2. The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 (50-100 million deaths)
1. Tuberculosis (2 million deaths yearly)
Abortion has easily surpassed the Black Death and Tubercolosis in yearly averages. And the Influenza Epidemic is still dwarfed by the 1.3 billion abortions since 1980. The last 35 years of abortion have surpassed the most deadly one year epidemic in human history by 1300%.
Abortion is deadlier, by far, than the deadliest diseases.
Abortion vs. Natural Disasters
Perhaps we are still thinking too small. Surely abortion isn’t worse than natural disasters. Right?
Think again. The deadliest natural disaster on record (not counting the Great Flood which is widely denied) is the Central China floods (1931), where the Zangtze river overflowed and killed 3.7 million in drowning, starvation, and associated diseases. Compared to abortion, the death toll from abortion is worse by 3 orders of magnitude (361 time larger or 3,610%). The next largest natural disaster was the Yellow River Flood (1887), which killed as many 2 million–a much lower number.
To put these numbers in perspective. Hurricane Katrina, considered one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, killed 1,833 people. The highest death toll from any natural disaster on U.S. soil is the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 which killed as many as 12,000 people. The U.S. surpasses that number in abortions every 4 days. The world surpasses that number, in abortions, every 3 hours.
Abortion easily dwarfs the worst natural disasters.
At this point you may be wondering, “What’s your point?” You may bielive that abortion is bad but justified to prevent worse evils like injustice against women, broken homes, oppression, crime, and so on.
I’m not arguing that point here. My aim is simply to put the epidemic scope of abortion in perspective. If we are willing to justify abortion as the means to, otherwise, good ends–then we are conceding to the same kind of utilitarian calculus that fed voracious genocidal appetites mentioned earlier. The Third Reich in Nazi Germany, the Hutus in Rwanda, the North Veitnamese, the Kmer Rouge, the rampaging Crusaders–they all thought they were achieving a “greater good.” It might even be true that some wars are unavoidable (Just war theory), or self-defense is defensible. But abortion is none of those. It is not an act of war. It is not a natural disaster. It is not a communist revolution, or tribal invasion, or viral epidemic. It is overwhelmingly the free choice of an otherwise sane population seeking to protect their current standard of living.
And so it seems that the cruelest villainy in human history is as banal and boring as people trying to “have a good time.”
Of course abortion is a touchy subject, but before you jump to the defensive saying, “It’s my body!”, “Rights of Privacy!” or, worse, “Republican war on women!”–you should remember what it is you are really defending. You are standing on the side of abortion. You are advocating for the most voracious destructive force man has ever mustered against fellow man.
The darkest parts of the human heart are shaded not so much by hate or malice but, more often, by fear, cowardice, and failed efforts at compassion. Put another way the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Lenin, and Pol Pot were all individuals. But they could not have achieved their brutal goals without swaying the masses to believe that their victims are less than human, their death is compassionate, and people should fear any such world where those victims are allowed to continue. Such is the logic of most every genocide, and such is the logic of abortion.
In terms of lives lost, abortion is literally the worst thing ever. The only way I know of to find comparably deadly events is to go theological, pointing to the Fall of Man (Genesis 3), the Great Flood (Genesis 6-11), or Hell and Satan (Revelation 21). But in terms of measurable events in recorded history, Abortion is easily the worst thing ever.