Researcher: 1.72 Billion Abortions Worldwide Over Last 40 Years

International   |   Fr. Shenan Boquet   |   Apr 1, 2013   |   11:13AM   |   Washington, DC

Simon Rabinovitch in his article, “Data Reveal Scale of China Abortions,” reports that there have been 336 million abortions, 196 million sterilizations and 403 million intrauterine devices used in China since 1971. He notes that Chinese doctors every year abort roughly 7 million babies, sterilize nearly 2 million men and women and insert 7 million IUDs, though precise numbers are hard to come by. My first reaction to this news was horror and disgust. Remember that these numbers represent the actions of only one country, and its corrosive behavior against life.

After reading the article, I asked Dr. Brian Clowes, director of education and research at Human Life International, to investigate the number of worldwide abortions since 1973. The results were staggering! He estimates that there have been more than 1.72 billion abortions over the last 40 years, a trend that is not lessening but growing exponentially as more and more countries embrace and legalize contraception and abortion as methods of population control, which is always sold as “family planning” and “reproductive health.”

Honestly, Dr. Clowes’ research left me numb. It is almost unimaginable to believe that humanity has sunk — and continues to sink — to such a level of disregard for human life. One would think we would have learned from history and the consequences of intrinsically evil decisions. As there was with the concentration camps of the Second World War, there should be outrage and outcry for the 1.72 billion children murdered in the last 40 years. Sadly their cries and those of our other most vulnerable brothers and sisters, the poor, the aged and handicapped, are drowned out amidst the growing waves of relativism, economic development and “rights” without responsibilities.

What will be the saturation point? How many more will die to satisfy man’s appetite for destruction?

Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians points toward the only resolution to our dilemma:

You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient.All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ — by grace you have been saved –raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:2-9)

Look out and see what sin does to the world, to people. Modernity would have us believe that all our needs can be fully satisfied through human constructs and advancements, but a world without God — without Love — is a world without meaning and purpose. Jesus exposes the wound caused through our transgressions and offers us the balm of healing. Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world and cleanses it with his blood. He reintroduces humanity to its purpose and end — life with the Father. Evil blinded us; Jesus restored our sight.

Jesus shows us the true path of life by inviting us to share fully in His transforming love. His self-giving love lead him to the cross revealing that love is more powerful than death, thus destroying death forever. “Only when someone values love more highly than life, that is, only where someone is ready to put life second to love, for the sake of love, can love be stronger and more than death. If it is to be more than death it must first be more than mere life.” (Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, p. 304) Christ’s cross leads to joy. It leads to the joy of being saved. It also assists us in picking up our own crosses and following in His footsteps.

A few days after reading Mr. Rabinovitch’s article and receiving Dr. Clowes’ response, the Lord reminded me of transforming power of selfless love. I was in Bossier City, Louisiana standing alongside fellow pro-lifers in front of Bossier City Medical Suite, an abortion mill. On that day, we received wonderful news that two lives were saved — a mother and her baby — the third save at this particular mill since the beginning of 40 Days for Life sidewalk prayer vigils. A few days later I learned of another mom and her baby being saved. Love conquers and transforms the world!

The breakthrough we need in today’s debate over life is found in Love’s true meaning revealed in the Easter message. The power of death shall not prevail. Evil can be conquered. Jesus is the answer to our questions and the remedy to our human dilemmas. Our full participation in His transforming love is the leaven we need to transform the culture of death into a Culture of Life.

Saint James challenges the early Christians to live their faith in Christ Jesus: You have faith and I have works. Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. We can change the trends of evil if every Christian fully embraces life in Jesus Christ and reflects this life in truth and love.

LifeNews Note:  Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. This column originally appeared at its WorldWatch Forum and is reprinted with permission.