A new report released on Wednesday has estimated that one billion babies have been aborted across the globe in the past 100 years, and approximately 12.5 million abortions are performed each year.
The new Abortion Worldwide Report tracks the number of documented abortions in 100 nations, territories and regions from as early as 1920 through 2015. The principal authors of the study, Robert Johnston, Ph.D., and Thomas W. Jacobson, M.A., compiled abortion data from countries across the globe through two databases.
Other organizations involved in the study are Human Life International (HLI), Global Life Campaign, Charlotte Lozier Institute and Regent University.
Johnston began tracking international abortion statistics in 1983 while Jacobson started in 2002, according to Life Site News. The report begins with data from 1920 when the Soviet Union became the first country to decriminalize abortion. The study also includes data from 136 countries where abortion is currently legal.
"We now have nearly a century of evidence documenting what happens when governments authorize abortion: it does not become rare, but increases exponentially. Indeed, in less than one century, abortion has become the Greatest Genocide ever, far surpassing all wars and democides combined," HLI stated in a press release.
Jacobson, the executive director of the Global Life Campaign, defended the use of the word "genocide" to describe the termination of pregnancies.
"This is targeting a specific group of people," he said at the press conference on Wednesday.
"It is time to end this genocide and become people and nations again who highly cherish and protect innocent human life, pre-born and born, girls and boys, pregnant mothers, and every person until natural death," he continued.
The researchers also took issue with the statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization and the former arm of Planned Parenthood.
The report from the institute in 2016 estimated that 56 million abortions are performed worldwide each year. However, the researchers said that the numbers were "wildly inflated," and much of the data cannot be verified.
Dr. Brian Clowes of HLI said at the press conference that abortion advocates inflate the figures in order to compel leaders in developing countries to accept contraceptive handouts to reduce the abortions.
The researchers have said that the study would help nations where abortion remains illegal to have an "abundance of reasons" why they should preserve their policies. They added that it would also be useful for nations that have legalized the procedure to see the wisdom in "restor[ing] lawful protection of human life from the moment of conception."