By James Tillman

NEW YORK, NY, October 16, 2009 (—A new report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, entitled “Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress,” points to the fact that over a billion abortions have been committed, say pro-life activists.

The report found that the annual number of abortions have declined over the period from 1995 to 2003. Nevertheless, the Guttmacher Institute said that in 2003 approximately 41.6 million abortions were committed worldwide.

On average, this works out to more than one death by abortion for each second of the year. Since abortion has been available since before 1970 and very widely available since 1980, pro-life activists are saying that, even by a conservative estimate, the total number of preborn children to have been killed by abortion is likely in excess of one billion. If 40 million children per year were aborted since 1980 that would already make for 1.12 billion preborn babies killed.

“There simply isn’t anything close,” said Stephen Phelan of Human Life International. “Over the many years since this has become a practice, even legalized in many countries, you’re over a billion.”

“There’s definitely nothing to compare. The closest thing you’d get to it would be the atheist, socialist dictators of the 20th century; and even they, in their gruesome efficiency, were only able to kill somewhere between a hundred and a hundred-seventy million people. … There’s no comparison.”

The Guttmacher Institute report also mentions the “high degree of safety” of abortions in communist China, but neglects to condemn China’s one-child policy or the forced abortions that occur there. It nevertheless refers to the “woman’s right to make her own childbearing decisions” and couches the report in the language of “choice.” According to the report, 8.8 million “safe” abortions occur in China each year, approximately 1 in 5 of all abortions worldwide.