November 1, 2004

Abortion vs. other forms of murder

I just received an email from an old college friend urging me to vote for Bush. He said that the defining reason to vote for the man was abortion. (My husband finds this to be his defining reason for voting for Bush as well.)

It has mystified me that abortion can be so decisive to these people. But as I got thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that what I need to convince these people that President's can affect the lives and deaths of people in ways other than just abortion is statistics. I need some solid statistics that will show:

- how many people will die due to respiratory problems (or skin cancer, or ...) because the US did not sign the Kyoto Environment Treaty.
- how many people (not just Americans) have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to American military actions?
- how many people (world wide) have died because of American consumption and waste? how many of these people, before dying, were forced to live their lives as slaves?
- how many people (world wide) have died or given birth to children with birth defects because Americans have chosen to eat food that has been sprayed with pesticides.

it's not as easy to track statistics like that. when a woman gets an abortion, two go in, one comes out. it's clear what happened. the cause and effect doesn't require much thought. the casualities are fairly easy to count.

but when a small baby dies because her mother had to work in fields sprayed with chemicals before she was born, there are a few more steps to make between my eating that food and that baby's death. the death is just as real. the child was just as innocent. but the ties between the cause and effect remain invisible to those who refuse to look.