A billion is an almost impossible number to comprehend. It’s a thousand million, or a thousand, thousand-thousands. One mathematician speculated that if one billion children made a human tower, it would reach beyond the moon. Counting to a billion would take almost 100 years. A time-traveler going back about a billion minutes would find himself in the time of Jesus.

Researchers released a first-of-its-kind report today estimating that one billion babies have been killed by abortion worldwide in the past 100 years.

They say their findings reveal the “greatest genocide in history,” estimating that about 12.5 million babies continue to be exterminated every year by abortion.

“First motivated by the moral crisis and information shortage represented by abortion, the research quickly became a sobering and sacred task of tabulating how many babies have been exterminated in the greatest deliberate slaughter of human beings in history, far exceeding all wars and democides of what was already the bloodiest century in history,” the researcher state.

Titled “Abortion Worldwide Report: 100 Nations, 1 Century, 1 Billion Babies” the report is the fruit of years of tracking international abortion statistics by W. Robert Johnston, who began such tracking in 1983, and Thomas Jacobson, who began in 2002. The report begins with data from 1920 when the former Soviet Union became the first country in the world to legalize abortion. Data came from 136 nations that currently allow a mother to destroy life within her womb.

The report is extensive, covering the history of infanticide and abortion, national policies, a compilation of abortion data, methodologies for estimating missing year data, and fact-based abortion numbers.

Researchers took issue with abortion estimates from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group and former arm of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, that 56 million abortions occur worldwide annually. They said the numbers were far too high, and “lacking in credibility.”

Among their “general findings” related to the abortion data, they show that: “contrary to claims that legalized abortion can be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’ once a government authorizes abortion, it never becomes rare, unless they again prohibit or highly restrict it;” contrary to claims that morality surrounding abortion cannot be legislated to effect change, “government policies, including both laws themselves and the level of enforcement, profoundly affect the level of abortion;” and the highest levels of abortion ever recorded occurred in communist atheistic countries. In fact, the majority (73 per cent) of known abortions were committed in such countries.

Researchers say the report will be useful in a number of ways.

It will help “nations who prohibit abortion, giving them an abundance of reasons why they should preserve their good policies protecting human life, and not make the same mistake as the United States and most other nations.” It will also be useful for nations that allow abortion, allowing them to see the wisdom in “restor(ing) lawful protection of human life from the moment of conception.”

The researchers make a number of recommendations, aimed at individuals, clergy, churches and synagogues, pro-life organizations, and the governments of nations.

Anyone who cherishes human rights and justice for all, even the least, should “seek to ultimately end abortion for all reasons except to save the life of the mother.”

The report calls on individuals to “encourage women who are considering abortion to cherish the life of the child within them.” Clergy should be “courageous to preach, teach, speak up, and stand for the sanctity of human life and for the protection of preborn children and pregnant mothers.”

The authors say governments in countries that prohibit abortion should “not yield to pressure from regional and international governmental organizations, and in every inter-governmental meeting, uphold the sanctity of human life and marriage whenever they are put to the challenge.” Meanwhile, governments in nations allowing abortion should “recognize the innocent bloodshed on your land” and “reconsider your policy on abortion, abolish it, and restore your laws protecting human life (from) the moment of conception to natural death.”

 A version of this article originally appeared Jan. 25 at LifeSiteNews and is used with permission.