Today is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court rulling on Roe v. Wade. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that, in that time period, there have been 54,559,615 abortions in America.

"In a new document, 'Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends,' NRLC education director Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon estimates that there have been 54,559,615 abortions since 1973 based on data from both the Centers for Disease Control and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood research arm. Guttmacher receives numbers directly from abortion centers themselves and is the prime source for more current figures because the Centers for Disease Control has never tabulated accurate numbers of abortions. The CDC relies on figures from state health departments, some of which rely on voluntary reporting — and it hasn’t had data from some states such as California and New Hampshire for more than a decade," reports.

That means, "The number means there are more than 3,300 abortions daily and 137 abortions per hour every hour in the United States. Translated another way, an abortion is done about every 30 seconds in the United States."

President Obama commemerated the day by reaffirming his support for abortion. "On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country and stand by its guiding principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities," said Obama in a statement.

Others took the opportunity to call for an end to abortion. "For 40 years, we’ve deprived the most defenseless among us of the rights promised in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence," said pro-life activist Gary Bauer in a statement.

"For many years, we treated another group of people, African slaves, as if they had no rights we were bound to respect. We even had a Supreme Court decision that seemed to give it constitutional legitimacy. We now rightly look back in shame at the Dred Scott decision. And I hope someday soon we will look back in the same way at Roe and the carnage that it produced."

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