Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Right to Life

Here's what White House squawk box Scott McLellan had to say about the Supreme Court Decision upholding Oregon's law allowing physician assisted suicide: "The President remains fully committed to building a culture of life, a culture of life that is built on valuing life at all stages. And that's the President's commitment."

Although you wouldn't know it from TV or newspapers in the United States, the World Health Organization recently released the World Health Report 2005. You can download the overview here, and if you're really into this stuff you can get the full report at the site. Here are a few highlights that might be of interest to people who value life at all stages.

  1. Each year more than 4 million babies die within a month of birth, and 6.6 million more children die before they turn five.

  2. Each year about 529,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth -- 68,000 as a result of unsafe abortion.

  3. While many countries have seen improving maternal and child health, the worst-off countries have not, increasing global disparities.

  4. Solving this problem does not require any expensive technology, but it does require basic public health and care systems, including trained midwifes and backup medical services when they are needed.

  5. The total cost to achieve this within the 75 countries that account for most maternal and child mortality is estimated to be $52.4 billion in addition to current expenditures.

The cost to the United States Treasury of the Iraq war, as of this writing, is estimated to be $234,365,799,016. Actually it will be more by the time you click on the link.

I have a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Hypocrisy.

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