Thursday, February 19, 2015
It has often been aid that the so-called Right to Life movement stops caring about babies as soon as they are born. I've pointed out here many times -- not for a while, I haven't been so international lately as I once was -- that this is obviously true because they never have one word to say about the millions of children under five who die annually. There is, actually, good news however. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for child mortality have a target for this year, called MDG 4. It looks like we won't quite make the target, but there has been a lot of progress.
The UN special envoys report is here. Under-five deaths worldwide declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013, that's about half -- and of course the population and total number of young children has increased. Still, it looks like we'll wind up about 1.6 million short of MDG 4. The highest rates are in Africa and some countries in Asia. Of course civil conflict is an important factor in failure to make the targets -- particularly noteworthy are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
The empowerment and education of women, and access to contraception, are key to reducing deaths of newborns. The Guttmacher institute estimates that giving all women and their newborns comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services would reduce deaths of newborns by 77%, at a cost of $25 per woman per year. Maybe that's why the anti-abortion activists don't care to invest in saving babies.