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A memorial to unborn victims of abortion erected by the Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida.Cliff / Flickr

(LifeSiteNews) — Abortion remained the world’s leading cause of death for the fifth consecutive year in 2023, despite the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade putting a dent in the United States’ contribution to those totals.

More than 44.6 million abortions were committed across the planet last year, according to Worldometer, a nonpartisan resource that tracks and estimates statistics in real time on a wide variety of subjects, based on data from sources such as the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and more.

READ: Biden campaign says promoting abortion is ‘top priority’ for second term

That total is greater than the number of deaths attributed to the next seven causes of death – communicable disease, cancer, smoking, alcohol use, HIV/AIDS, road accidents, and suicide – combined.

“The Worldometer measured the total deaths in 2023 as more than 60.6 million,” the Christian Post notes. “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.”

In the U.S., 14 states currently ban all or most abortions, with available data so far indicating that now-enforceable pro-life laws could effectively wipe out an estimated 200,000 abortions a year.

In response, abortion allies pursue a variety of tactics to preserve abortion “access,” such as enshrining “rights” to abortion in state constitutions, easy access to abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, constructing new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors. 

MAP: Most abortions are banned in 14 states, more states to follow

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. The 2024 elections will determine whether Democrats retain the White House and keep or gain enough seats in Congress to make that happen.

In the U.S., getting an exact handle on the scale and details of abortion use has long been limited by a lack of uniform standards from state to state. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that it only collects abortion data voluntarily submitted by states, whose reporting requirements (if they have any) vary significantly. California, Maryland, and New Hampshire – three states that are populous as well as significantly pro-abortion– have historically submitted no data whatsoever, further limiting the public’s understanding of the frequency of things such as late-term abortion and abortion complications.

As of January 9, the world has already seen more than a million abortions in 2024, according to Worldometer.