Matters of life and death

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Let’s talk about life and death.

According to World Population Review, the average daily death rate in 2024 is 166,859 people worldwide. That’s 6,952 per hour, 116 per minute, or 1.93 per second.

It should come as no surprise that the most deaths each day occur in the highest populated nations — China, India, the United States, Nigeria, and Indonesia each have more than 5,800 deaths daily. With more than 1.4 billion people each, India registers at more than 26,000 and China at just below 30,000. The U.S. ranks third with 8,091 per day, or 337 per hour, from a to-tal population of more than 341.8 million people.

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Conversely, the average daily birth rate worldwide in 2024 is 368,144 per day — 15,339 per hour, 256 per minute, 4.26 per second. 

India and China also lead in this statistic — 62,972 births daily in India and 28,958 in China. The U.S. ranks 8th, with 10,292 daily births, 429 hourly.

With just these two statistics, the world shows a daily net growth in population of 201,285 people. For the U.S., the net growth is 2,201 daily.

Again according to WPR, abortion rates worldwide number around 73 million annually, or 200,000 per day — 8,333 per hour, 139 per minute, or 2.3 per second.

In the U.S., the abortion rate is 20.8 per 1,000 women. With 169,870,000 million women in the U.S. in 2024, that means 3,533,296 abortions are taking place annually in this nation.

According to Statista, the number of abortion-related deaths in the United States in 2020 was six (6), compared to 47 in 1973, the first year the numbers were reported. For individuals and organizations that view abortion as a medical procedure and the removal of unwanted tissue, these numbers make sense. Abortions have become safer for the mother, and therefore fewer maternal deaths occur now — less than 1/5000th of a percentage point.

For those who view abortion as the taking of the life of an unborn human child, however, every abortion results in an abortion-related death, making the mortality rate 100 percent … plus six. 

As far as I can determine, only the six mothers count among the official deaths reported — not the 3.53 million unborn children. If we count that number, then the U.S. has 9,680 daily abor-tions plus 8,091 deaths from other causes (note which number is higher), equaling 17,771 fatalities daily. Subtract the number of daily births in the U.S. and you have a net loss of 7,479. This means that — contrary to what just the regular death and birth rates would reveal — the United States’ population is not growing by 2,201 daily, but declining by 7,479. It’s just that many people don’t notice because nearly 9,700 people were sharing a seat with someone else just before their death instead of taking up “extra” space.

The use of the word “maternal” in the death reports implies a mother, and therefore an off-spring, better known as a child.

According to Statista, “Abortion is the act of ending a pregnancy so that it does not result in the birth of a baby.”

One of the primary issues of arguments for and against abortion is the question of whether the unwanted product of a pregnancy is a pre-born child or simply a mass of cells. All levels of argument exist on both sides of the issue, and arguments in support of abortion sometimes define an unborn “offspring” as not legally a child until it exits the birth canal. If that is the sole criteria, what of C-sections? 

To those of us who believe conception is the beginning of life, it appears those who argue in support of abortion often do so based upon convenience and desire — if I want a child, then I am pregnant with a child. If I do not desire a child, then the thing inside me is not a child. My desire determines reality.

Mississippi has a ban on abortion in almost every instance. Roe v. Wade, in effect for 50 years making abortions legal, was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022. But anyone who wants an abortion has plenty of options to get one. Several other states have not banned abortions. The “morning-after” pill and other chemical options are also readily available. If you want it, you can have it.

Though his actual views on abortion are unclear, crass comedian Bill Burr has an interesting analogy about the issue (as well as a goal of offending everyone all at once).

“It’s not a baby yet — that’s what they say, which may or may not be true. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. But I’ll tell you, my gut tells me that doesn’t make sense. ‘It’s not a baby yet.’ That would be like if I was making a cake and I poured some batter in a pan and I put it in the oven, and then five minutes later you came by and you grabbed the pan — you threw it across the floor. And I went, ‘What the —-?! You just ruined my birthday cake.’ And then you’re like, ‘Well, that wasn’t a cake yet.’ It’s like, ‘Well, it would have been. If you didn’t do what you just did, there would have been a cake in 50 minutes. Something happened to that cake, you cake-murdering [expletive]!’ Right? Now, before all you pro-life people get excited, I think it’s great you’re killing your babies. It’s fantastic. Help Mother Nature out. There’s too many of us.”

I don’t know what your position on abortion is — pro-life/anti-abortion, pro-choice/anti-life, or however else you want to define it. But using semantics to make a choice more palatable doesn’t really hide the issue.

Yes, I am a white, heterosexual Christian male human. However, I am not opposed to abortion for any of those reasons except two — I am human and therefore have a high regard for hu-man life (as I think all humans should, though regrettably do not), and I am a Christian and believe humans are all created in the image of God, their Creator. 

I have lost friends over this issue before, and I am prepared to do so again. This, for me, is a good hill on which to die. After all, I think we can all agree that you can’t have your “cake” … and kill it, too.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at