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Monday, March 26, 2012

It All Comes Down To Marketing

 With the release of the film "October Baby", many people are asking a new question: How common is abortion survival?

Well, let's make a comparison to something a little more well-known: the lynching of blacks in the United States. 

There are more than 3,500 known cases of whites lynching blacks between 1882 and 1968.

3500 lynchings in nearly a century.
That's an average of 83 deaths a year.
Well, that tells us the raw numbers, but out of what population? After all 83 deaths out of a population of 100 would be a lot worse than 83 out of a population of 100 million. 
So what was the black population between 1882 and 1968? This is rather harder to calculate. Mortality rates in the 1880's are rather worse than those in 1968, and the population skew is also different. However, we can safely say that most people alive in 1882 were not alive in 1968. 
In 1860 it was 4.4 million, by 1960 it was 18.9 million.
Since a smaller population makes the per capita lynching incidence look worse, we will calculate the total population in the way that makes the incidence of lynching look the most horrific: we'll just add the two numbers together, call it 25 million. This choice pretends the black population between 1860 and 1959 was a constant 4.4 million, and in 1960 was 18.9 million, but it makes the per capita rate the worst it can be.
So, let's say 25 million alive during that whole period.
Now, there have been roughly 52 million abortions in the last 50 years.
So, how many abortion survivors are there in the United States each year?  
We don't know for sure, since the United States does not even keep integrated statistics on abortion throughout all 50 states - virtually no one keeps statistics on survivors of abortion. 
The closest we can get is to look at a country with a comparable health system that does keep statistics.   According to the 2005 Confidential Enquiry into Child Health, 50 babies survived abortion in Britain in 2002. In 2002, there were 1,354 abortions performed after 22 weeks in Britain. That means that around 3.7% of children aborted after 22 weeks survived.
The figures for the CEMACH 2007 Perinatal Mortality report, gathered from hospitals in England and Wales during 2005, reveal 16 babies who survived abortion were born after 22 weeks in the womb or later in the pregnancy... in 2006, 2948 abortions were performed at over 20 weeks.  That would put the survival rate at .5 %.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.4% of U.S. abortions take place at 21 weeks or later. There are 1.37 million abortions in the United States each year. That means 18,200 abortions after 21 weeks.
If Britain's baby survival percentage (.005 to .037) coincides across the Atlantic, then between 90 and  670 children survive abortion every year in the United States (1.4% of 1.3 million is 18,200 and 3.7% of 18,200 is 673).

Now, there's no reason to think US survival rates are different than UK survival rates.
But, let's be generous and say that our calculated abortion survivor numbers are 5 times higher than it should be, and it's really only between 18 and 135 survivals a year in the United States.
So, America experienced 83 lynching deaths per year out of a total population of maybe 25 million versus somewhere between 20 and 135 abortion survivals a year out of a total population of 52 million abortions. If we went to straight per capita, that compares 83 deaths per 25 million vs 10 to 70 alive per 25 million.
Yep - if we drop the abortion survival rate by five in order to present a conservative estimate, the rates of black lynchings versus abortion survivors are essentially identical.
And that's if we are being generous.
If we were being honest, we would admit that there are MORE children surviving abortion each year than there were blacks being lynched each year. 
So why has everyone heard about black lynchings, but no one has heard about abortion survival?
It's all about marketing. 

1 comment:

Carry On Luggage said...

Very Gutsey. Very true.

Jim Dorchak