Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2023

(Photo: Unsplash/Maria Oswalt)

Abortion has topped several infectious diseases as the world's leading cause of death for at least the fifth year in a row, even though multiple abortion restrictions have gone into place at the state level following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Statistics compiled by Worldometer, a database that tracks quantitative data on health, the global population and other metrics in real-time, show that more than 44.6 million abortions were performed worldwide in 2023. The last available snapshot of Worldometer from 2023, captured by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine by Dec. 31, shows that the number of abortions performed last year exceeds the combined number of casualties caused by the other leading causes of death listed.

The second leading cause of death worldwide, communicable diseases, took the lives of over 12.9 million people last year. Cancer was attributed to more than 8.2 million deaths, while smoking contributed to the deaths of over 4.9 million people.

More than 2.4 million people died of alcohol use, more than 1.6 million people perished because of HIV or AIDS and over 1.3 million people lost their lives in road traffic accident fatalities. Over 1 million people died by suicide.

Other causes of death listed include the flu, which took the lives of more than 500,000 people, and malaria, which killed over 390,000 people. More than 300,000 mothers lost their lives during childbirth, and over 7.5 million children under the age of 5 died of unspecified illnesses and causes. Hunger took the lives of over 17,000 people in 2023, while over 800,000 died of water-related diseases.

The Worldometer measured the total deaths in 2023 as more than 60.6 million. However, that figure does not include abortion as a form of death. If abortions were counted as deaths in the statistics, the fatalities last year would have exceeded 100 million, and abortions would have accounted for more than 40% of them.

For the past two years, the approximately 44 million abortions performed worldwide enabled the procedure to surpass other causes of death worldwide.

While the number of abortions that took place in 2020 and 2019 — about 42.6 million and 42.4 million respectively — were slightly lower than the number of pregnancies terminated in subsequent years, abortion was still the leading cause of death in both years.

The number of abortions performed in 2023 remained relatively unchanged from 2022, even though last year constituted the first full year since the U.S. Supreme Court determined in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution doesn't contain a right to abortion. The Dobbs decision led to the passage of laws in several states that either severely restricted or almost entirely banned the procedure.

The pro-life activist organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America estimates that the pro-life laws passed in the year and a half following the Dobbs decision, including those that are currently on hold due to legal challenges, will prevent 166,239 abortions each year.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion advocacy group, 35% of the world's women of reproductive age live in 77 countries where abortion is available upon request. These countries are primarily concentrated in Western countries such as Canada, Australia, and nearly all European countries. Twenty-five percent of women of reproductive age live in 12 countries where abortion is available to women for a broad variety of social and economic reasons.

Twelve percent of women of childbearing age live in 47 countries where abortions are permitted to preserve the health of the mother, while 22% reside in 42 countries where abortions are allowed to save the life of the mother. Just 6% of women live in the 22 countries where abortion is prohibited altogether, most of which are located in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Courtesy of The Christian Post.