At our Face the Truth Tour stop in Hanover Park, Illinois on Wednesday, a man approached me after talking to Chris, one of our sign-holding volunteers. He said “the other guy” wouldn’t answer his question, so would I? I told him I’d try my best.
It turns out it was the same, standard, “Why aren’t you helping some other group instead of unborn babies?” shtick we’ve all heard a million times. And although Chris had answered him, he wasn’t satisfied.
10,000 Infant Starvation Deaths In America Every Day?
He demanded to know what we were doing about the 10,000 infants in America who were dying “at their mother’s breasts” every day from starvation.
Finally I called him out on that number, telling him I just didn’t believe it was true.
He challenged me to look it up, so I did. He said his numbers came from the World Health Organization, among other sources, so I went to the WHO for my statistics.
Not surprisingly, he was wrong.
What Is The Leading Cause of Childhood Mortality?
If 10,000 American babies died every day from starvation, then 3.65 million would die each year in this country.
But the total number of children under age 5 who die every year from all causes worldwide is 8.1 million (or 22,000 per day). This would mean that 45% of the world’s child mortality is due to starvation in America. Since the WHO states that 74% of childhood deaths occur in Africa and Southeast Asia, obviously this man’s numbers were slightly off.
In fact, also according to the WHO, for every 1,000 births, 8 children (age 5 and under) die in America each year. There are about 4.25 million births in a given year. This means 34,000 children die in America from all causes per year.
The man tried to tell us that starvation is the leading cause of death in America. When League Vice President Ann Scheidler told him that, no, abortion is the leading cause of death—killing over 1 million children each year–the man lost it and stormed off.
The truth hurts.
Where Does “10,000” Come From?
Not to be deterred, I continued to search for this “10,000” statistic. I finally found this article about a protest at the Eiffel Tower in October. The sponsoring organization claims 10,000 children die each day worldwide from malnutrition-related causes. While tragic, this is, however, a far cry from 10,000 children dying in the US from starvation each day. Also, if 22,000 children die each day (according to the WHO, above), they must lump a lot of things besides starvation into “malnutrition related causes.”
So while I will continue to support worthy organizations like Food for the Poor, there’s no way I’ll feel guilty about doing everything I can to protect children from the leading cause of childhood mortality in America: abortion.