Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Infant Mortality Rates Worldwide

The recent murder of abortion doctor George Tiller (more about that incident later today) made me think of this appalling statistic. As an American this has always bewildered and embarrassed me:

Here's the list of nations with a lower infant mortality rate than the United States (in order from lowest to highest):
1) Iceland
2) Singapore
3) Japan
4) Sweden
5) Norway
6) Hong Kong
7) Finland
8) Czech Republic
9) Switzerland
11) South Korea
12) Belgium
13) France
14) Spain
15) Germany
16) Denmark
17) Austria
18) Australia
19) Luxembourg
20) Netherlands
21) Israel
22) Slovenia
23) United Kingdom
24) Canada
25) Ireland
26) Italy
27) Portugal
28) New Zealand
29) Cuba
30) Channel Islands ( Jersey and Guernsey)
31) Brunei
32) Cyprus
33) New Caledonia
34) United States

Until the anti-choice legions begin to support free and universal healthcare for pregnant mothers and post-natal families, it's difficult to take them seriously on abortion -- "life" doesn't end at birth.

The question that ought to be resolved: Are private healthcare profits and "anti-socialism" talking points more important than protecting children with free and universal healthcare?

We're getting beat on this front by Slovenia and New Caledonia. If you know three facts about either of these countries or can even point to them on an unlabeled map you're a better man than I, yet they have lower infant mortality rates than we do here in the richest and most powerful nation on the planet. But hey, we still have the biggest guns and the most bombs so that means we're winning, right? USA! USA! Oh what, fuck the children? Alright, but can I still shout "USA! USA!" at the top of my lungs? Sweet, then we're still winning. The system works.


BD said...

Rent "The Business of Being Born." Once you get over Ricki Lake narrating, it's a great insight into how the medical industry fucked up baby birthin'.

one L bill said...

I don't know if it helps or hurts their "rate" that Iceland's population is only 20-25% larger than my hometown... which is a city that 999 out of 1,000 Americans has never heard of.

JBW said...

I'll check it out, BD.

The rate is a proportional percentage one L but I do agree that a significantly smaller population might be advantaged. You also have to add in other factors such as per capita GDP and quality of life to get a completely accurate picture.

Van Zan said...

Last year I did some voluntary duty in Japan as playground safety overseer, when my kids spent some school time there.

One of my charges was a little girl born with one functioning leg, nine fingers, and a host of internal issues. It is a miracle of medical technology that she lives. And a beautiful child, she is, for all that.

I wouldn't be too hard on your country over this. You do have an enormous population, and this kind of miracle technology is at the cutting edge.
Perhaps medical science in America achieves brilliantly in other fields. I don't know.

JBW said...

We spend more on Defense than every other nation combined and we're 34th on this list VZ, I'm just asking for some prioritizing.