The #1 Cause of Death in 2018

Worldometer is an independent site that collects data from governments and other reputable organizations and then reports the data, along with estimates and projections, based on those numbers. [1]

For 2018, Worldometer estimates approximately 59 million deaths took place worldwide. A few of the causes listed were:

Cancer – 8.2 million people

Smoking – 5 million people

HIV/AIDS – 1.7 million people

Other death causes listed, but at much smaller numbers, were alcohol, suicide, and malaria. Those are saddening numbers. Far too many people are taken, and families scarred, by these horrible diseases, tragedies, and addictions.

Even with the many lives represented by these numbers, there is still one life-taking cause that trumps them all. In fact, the unbelievably high number of victims from the number one cause of death in 2018 is far greater than the total of most other listed causes combined. You can add almost any other medical or accidental death cause total not listed to the combined total and still not surpass it.

What is this cosmic sized victim count? 41.9 million people in 2018 alone.

And, what is this leading cause of death? In one word, Abortion. [2]

Other Disturbing Numbers

“Worldometers estimates about 59 million deaths worldwide in 2018, but that number does not include unborn babies’ abortion deaths.” [3]

“Globally, just under a quarter of all pregnancies (23 percent) were ended by abortion in 2018, and for every 33 live births, ten infants were aborted.” [4]

“In America, just under 1 million babies are aborted every year. Though abortion rates have been dropping in the past decade, abortion remains the leading cause of death in the United States as well.

An estimated 60 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade in 1973.” [5]

What has President Nelson Said Concerning Abortion?

“When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make.

As Latter-day Saints, we should stand up for choice—the right choice—not simply for choice as a method.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. More than a century ago, the First Presidency wrote, “We again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day Saints against those … practices of foeticide and infanticide.”

“Life is precious! No one can cuddle an innocent infant, look into those beautiful eyes, feel the little fingers, and kiss that baby’s cheek without a deepening reverence for life and for our Creator. Life comes from life. It is no accident. It is a gift from God. Innocent life is not sent by Him to be destroyed. It is given by Him and is naturally to be taken by Him alone. I testify that life is eternal as He is eternal.” -Elder Russell M. Nelson [6]

What is the Church’s Official Stance on Abortion?

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.

The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when:

  • Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or
  • A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or
  • A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.

The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.” [7]

Marching for a Cause

The annual March for Life in the United States will take place in Washington, D.C., on January 18, 2019, with the theme “Unique from Day One.” The stated purpose of the march is to end abortion by “uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square.”

The next day, January 19, the annual Women’s March will be held in the same place. One of the nineteen stated purposes for this march says:

“We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education.  This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. We understand that we can only have reproductive justice when reproductive health care is accessible to all people regardless of income, location or education.” [8] (bolding added)

While I can agree with the basis for several of the Women’s March’s other stated goals, this group loses my support entirely with their desire to have the number one cause of death in 2018, and every year previous, and most likely going forward, remain “open,” ” legal,” and “affordable”.

We Can Find a Cure

Abortion, the number one cause of death in our nation and around the world, is something we can cure. It won’t cost us a dime or require countless hours spent by researchers in labs. No trials need be run and no FDA approval would be necessary. But the drop in fatalities could be dramatic and immediate. All this cure takes is some sexual self-restraint, a healthy dose of personal accountability for actions, and some compassion for the life within and for couples who would love to begin or enlarge their family with that child through adoption.

God’s plan for the happiness of His spirit children, here and eternally, depends on them receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality. Abortion on demand, no matter how it’s packaged, is part of Satan’s plan to try to thwart Heavenly Father’s plan, and prevent us from becoming like Him.

(*When I began this article, Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at 2:00 PM (CDT) there had been an estimated 183, 646 abortions worldwide since the new year began according to the Worldometer site. When I finished, that same afternoon, at 5:03 PM, that number had risen to 196,825. That’s 13,179 people killed in three hours and three minutes.)

[1] “Worldometer – voted as one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world— keeps a running tally through the year of interesting world statistics, including population, births, deaths, automobiles produced, books published, and CO2 emissions.”, along with many other interesting categories. (From the website.)

[2] Worldometers total number of abortions worldwide in 2018 is based on the latest statistics on abortions published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

[3] “Abortion Was the Leading Cause of Death Worldwide in 2018, Killing 42 Million People”, Micaiah Bilger,, Dec 31, 2018

[4] “Abortion Leading Cause of Death in 2018 with 41 Million Killed”, Thomas D. Williams, PHD, Breitbart, December 31, 2018

[5] LifeNews article above.

[6] “Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless”, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Ensign, October 2008


[8] website




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About Bethany Packard

Bethany Packard is absolutely in love with her wonderful husband, Chad. They live in the Dallas, TX area where they raised six amazing children and owned a business, though now retired. Eighteen terrific grandchildren hold their hearts. At age 49, the Packards were called to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a Senior Couple (though they certainly didn't see themselves as "Senior") and assigned to the Russia Moscow Mission. Leaving their family and business - before they were retired - took faith, but it also created the opportunity for God to perform many miracles in their lives. They are currently serving a Church Service Mission as Internship Coordinators for BYU-Idaho in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She loves music, interior design, cooking, sports, fall, and macaroni & cheese.

8 thoughts on “The #1 Cause of Death in 2018

  1. Scott Jones

    I am posting this question here and not on facebook because I do not want to be seen as just trying to be difficult or controversial. I see a comment stating “The spirits were robbed of their earthly experience.” Does the Church believe and teach that all miscarriages result in a spirit losing their chance for an earthly body and mortality? I find that very difficult to accept and understand. I have no idea how many miscarriages occur or what percentage of pregnancies result in miscarriage, but I strongly feel that the spirit intended for that body has not lost their only opportunity for an earthly experience. How could that be part of Heavenly Father’s plan? I am not arguing for or against abortion, but I have had direct experience with a number of close family members and friends who have had miscarriages. Thank you.

    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hello Scott,
      Thank you for asking your question. I appreciate your honesty and am sure you are not alone in your quest for understanding in this tender matter. I found valuable information on the Church’s website that I hope will bring comfort, peace, and hope to those you know who have expereinced the heartbreak of a miscarriage. Here is the link:

      The ending of a pregnancy due to miscarriage is not controlable by the woman and her husband. This is far differnet than the purposful choice to end the life of a developing child.

      I wish you all the best,

      1. Scott Jones

        Thank you. I have read this in the past. And agree with the nuances of it. I personally do not believe in a God’s plan that would have a miscarried fetus or an aborted fetus or stillborn losing it’s earthly experience.

        I agree with you on your next comment on adoption being the optimal solution — we are experiencing this first hand with a granddaughter born to drug addicted parents who opted to go through with the pregnancy and then gave up their parental rights. I am proud of my daughter and husband for first fostering and then adopting. They are making an amazing commitment to a young daughter with potential unknown issues. We love our granddaughter. But to absolutely rule out and outlaw abortion has some monumental societal issues that I am not sure our society is ready or equipped to handle. And I don’t see adoption ever being the answer to all these situations. I have another daughter who works with abused children and foster children — and there are hotels full of them each night in her city with no where to go. It is heartbreaking to see what these children go through and the emotional toll it takes on her and her co-workers. I do feel that mothers have the ultimate right to decide. We should also be doing all we can to educate and prevent unwanted pregnancies including ensuring that birth control is free and available to all. Bill and Melinda Gates have shown how important this is. Thanks again for your insights.

        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          And thank you for yours again Scott. We will have to respect each other’s differing sincere concerns, feelings, and views. I must stand firm in supporting God’s commandment to not kill and the Church’s application of that commandment in the issue of abortion. That is what I believe is right.

          Congratulations to your daughter on their decision to help in rescuing a child. I likewise have a dear friend who has made the same decision. The little one they are caring for and love as one of their own is blessed by his birthmother’s choice to allow him life and their choice to offer him a stable family situation for now. It is heartwarming.


  2. Scott Allen

    One perspective that is often left out of the abortion debate is the lives of mothers after an unwanted baby is born. In a perfect world, every woman would be in a well-adjusted social situation or have a ready and willing family to take the baby. But that’s not the world we live in right now. No matter how much we believe in it, that kind of “sexual restraint and personal responsibility” doesn’t exist in this world. Outlawing abortion would likely result in more poverty, death, etc right now. Maybe first we set up a pathway for less fortunate mothers to succeed in this world.

    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hello Scott,
      The best chance for the success of an unwed mother and her unplanned baby is adoption. That is the the best “pathway for less fortunate” girls and women who find themselves in this situation “to succeed in this world”. It doesn’t take “a perfect world” for a girl or woman to choose to not penalize the child she has conceived in a moment of weakness or indiscretion.

      The Church outlines the very few reasons abortion should ever be considered, and even then cautions that the option of abortion be approached with the deepest prayer and fasting. The overwhelming number of abortions performed as a matter of convenience is a HUGE percentage of the 41.9 million performed in 2018.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We appreciate you following us here at LDSWS.

      Your friend,

  3. Nikki

    I am in total agreement with abortion being against God’s commandments, but where is the line between abortion and the unwanted/unused embryos from in vitro fertilization? What does the church say about that?

    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Wow, great question Nikki. I did some digging for you, and while I did not find any to your specific question I did find the following related information from the Church Handbook 2……

      In Vitro Fertilization:
      “The Church strongly discourages in vitro fertilization using semen from anyone but the husband or an egg from anyone but the wife. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them.”

      Artificial Insemination:
      “The Church strongly discourages artificial insemination using semen from anyone but the husband. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them.

      Artificial insemination of single sisters is not approved. Single sisters who deliberately refuse to follow the counsel of Church leaders in this matter are subject to Church discipline.”

      It would seem that this situation would require counseling with priesthood leaders and much fasting and prayer.

      All the best,


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