64,443,118 Babies Have Been Killed in Abortions Since Roe v. Wade in 1973

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 9, 2023   |   10:24AM   |   Washington, DC

A new factsheet that tallies the number of babies killed in abortions since 1973 presents heartbreaking news for pro-life Americans. The new figures from the National Right to Life Committee show that almost 64.5 million babies have been killed in abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Although abortion totals per year have gone down since their highs in the years after Roe, almost 900,000 babies are killed in abortions every year and those totals have increased slightly in the last two years because of the COVID pandemic and massive uncertainty in the world, according to NRLC’s projections.

The most accurate abortions figures for the United States come from a pro-abortion group that was formerly a part of Planned Parenthood because those figures come straight from abortion centers that kill babies. The CDC also collects annual abortion figures and their totals are reflected but their annual data is incomplete because California and a couple other states are not included.

Randall O’Bannon, Ph.D., is the director of education and research for the pro-life group, provides further analysis of the chart and the horrifying figures.

He says the good news is that the overturning of Roe will undoubtedly reduce these numbers as more babies are saved from abortions.

“To any observer, the overturning of Roe was obviously an enormously significant event in our nation’s history and a political watershed. Abortion was no longer, by the Supreme Court’s fiat, legal in all fifty states, throughout pregnancy, for any and every reason or none at all,” O’Bannon explained. “But for pro-lifers, it represented so much more.  It meant, for the first time in nearly half a century that states would have the actual legal authority to protect unborn children, in many cases, from the moment of conception forward. Lives could be saved.”

“For those states which took the opportunity, it meant that it no longer had to be the case that 10%, 20%, 30% or even 50% of pregnancies would legally, almost automatically, end in abortion. Their laws could protect unborn children and their mothers, and the merchants of death could be limited or even put out of business,” he added.

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“It will be difficult to measure and it may be years before we know anything precisely. But it seems likely that the number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. will drop in the wake of Dobbs, even with some mothers traveling to other states or ordering pills over the internet,” he continued.

Unfortunately, abortion figures have climbed in the last couple of years, thanks to COVID and increased usage of the abortion pill mifepristone:

National numbers, covering abortions in all U.S. states and territories, take years to collect, analyze, and report. The most recent figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute, the two basic sources of American abortion data, though published in November of 2022, only updated us through 2020.

Though one (the CDC) shows a slight decrease from 2019 to 2020 while the other (Guttmacher) shows an increase in each of the past three years, both show U.S. abortion numbers up since 2017. Obviously, there is nothing about abortions after 2020 or the Supreme Court’s June 24, 2022 decision in Dobbs.

The CDC, which relies of reports from state health departments, reported 620,327 abortions for 2020, but did so missing data from California, the nation’s most populous state, as well as Maryland and New Hampshire.  Guttmacher, which surveys clinics directly and includes the states missed by the CDC, reported 930,160 for the same year. Guttmacher’s numbers are always more accurate and larger.

Fortunately, O’Bannon says the post-Dobbs abortion decline has already started and tens of thousands of babies have already been saved.

A pro-abortion group of researchers from the Society of Family Planning (SFP) issued a “#We Count Report” on October 28, 2022, based on information obtained from identified abortion “providers” on monthly abortions from April to August of 2022.  They estimate that 79% of all “identified providers” participated in the survey and that this yielded 82% of all abortions performed in the U.S.

According to their research, there were between 5,270 and 5,400 fewer abortions done a month in the U.S. in July and August than there had been in the month of April. This was even taking into account increases seen in states where abortion remained broadly legal after Dobbs.

Whether that trend will continue or expand as states take more legislative actions on abortion is unknown. But if that trend turned out to be real and then continued for the rest of the year, it would mean between 31,950 and 32,400 fewer abortions in 2022 than would have otherwise been expected.

Projected over a full year, that would translate to a reduction of something between 63,900 to 64,800 fewer abortions a year.

Data from Texas confirms that abortion bans can have a significant effect on protecting the lives of children before birth.

Official data from Texas is consistent with SFP estimates.  At this point, there is only data from July following Dobbs, but it does show a steep drop off once the state’s full protections kicked in. After about 3,000 a month from March through May, numbers for June (which included about a week post Dobbs) came in at 2,596.

But in July, the state only recorded 68 abortions for the whole state.

Some of the women simply went to other neighboring states to have abortions, with their travel and abortions sometimes arranged and funded by the abortion industry. But the drop in overall tallies is an indication that many women did not travel and get abortions elsewhere, that they changed plans, stayed home, and decided to have their babies. Multiple stories appearing in the press make clear that, in light of the new laws, many of these moms altered course and determined to give birth.

Regardless of what happens in the future, the ultimate figure of 64,443,118 babies killed in abortions is greater than the populations of a couple dozen states and larger than many of the biggest countries in the world. It’s one of the greatest travesties in the history of humanity.

“This is more that the population our country’s most populous state (California) and a number greater than the combined population of our 23 least populous states,” O’Bannon says.

“To get another take on the enormity of that loss, a nation with a population of 63.5 million would rank about twenty third on the list of the world’s most populous countries. In terms of population, a nation that size would rank ahead of such countries as Italy, Spain, Kenya, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Argentina, Columbia, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Cambodia, South Korea, or Canada,” he added.