Have More Babies!

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on May 19, 2018

The U.S. birthrate has fallen to its lowest level since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began keeping track of it.

Why is anyone surprised?!

For years, demographers, social scientists, and pro-lifers (including me) have warned that Americans are simply not having enough children to sustain either robust economic growth or family well-being. In 2014, Jonathan Last wrote about this eloquently in his trenchant (and funny) book, What to Expect When No One is Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster. And there were many more before him.

Replacement level fertility” — i.e., having enough babies to keep the population stable — is 2.1 for every woman.

Guess what ours is? Slightly less than 1.8.

Could virtually unrestricted access to abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy have anything to do with it?

Why? Why are American women having fewer and fewer babies?

Let me take a wild guess, a shot into utter darkness. Could virtually unrestricted access to abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy have anything to do with it?

But What About the Women in the Workforce?

Yes, it’s likely that part of the reason is that more women are entering the workforce, delaying marriage and childbirth, or electing to pursue their careers instead of raising a family. “Women in the developed world are increasingly delaying marriage and postponing childbirth in favor of education and furthering their careers,” reports Annabelle Timsit in Quartz.

But not that many women. Certainly not enough to account for the growing birth dearth.

The economic implications are sobering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that an ever-shrinking percentage of Americans who are able to work actually will participate in the workforce in coming years. By 2022, something less than 62 percent of the American people will be working. This is a decline of four percent since 2008.

That’s several million people.

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Social Security depends on the financial input of workers. The number of retirees is going up. The number of workers is going down. Do the math.

Economic productivity, innovation, and wealth-creation all depend on people. Sophisticated machines, human-like robots, and leading-edge technologies can pick up some of the slack. But not enough.

And without a large enough workforce, all the high-tech paraphernalia in the world will neither design, build, or maintain itself.

The Legacy of Abortion

We live in a culture in which unborn children are aborted at a rate of roughly 2,700 per day. The abortion rate might fractionally have gone down, but that’s still 2,700 too many babies dying cruelly.

Since the infamous Roe decision in 1973, America has succeeded in aborting more than 60 million unborn children. Of course, millions of them would themselves have born children in the decades since they reached maturity.

Britain’s former chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, has cautioned that we must consider the lessons of history. “Both the Greeks and the Romans attributed it to falling birth rates because nobody wanted the responsibilities of bringing up children,” he has observed. “Contemporary historians … right now, have failed to find a single historical example of a society that became secularized and maintained its birth rate over subsequent centuries.”

So, putting not too fine a point on it: To all of you who are married and can bear or adopt children, get to it!

“Do not be deceived,” wrote the Apostle Paul. “God is not mocked. Whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). We cannot destroy His precious gift of life, seizing from Him that which belongs to Him alone, and get away with it.

Looming economic decline, really, becomes a much less significant problem when you consider that God is just — forbearing, yes, but not a patsy. We have exploited vulnerable women, idolized professional attainment in the name of rights and opportunity, and destroyed so many lives.

Get to It!

So, putting not too fine a point on it: To all of you who are married and can bear or adopt children, get to it! You’re never “ready” to have a baby, but there’s no time like the present. Whatever you sacrifice will be made-up by love, belonging, challenge, trials, hopes and the fulfillment of seeing your child grow and learn.

To the unmarried who want to get married, pray and look for a spouse who loves Jesus and hitch up. Quit your endless quest for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect. Marry a committed, emotionally stable and pleasant Christian man or woman and have babies. A bunch of them.

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  • Sarah K.

    There’s more to it than abortion, if you notice there are a lot of women who have a child out of wedlock, which has increased like crazy over the last decade or so. Not to downplay abortion, but for these women to have casual sex with whoever they go out on a date with have some sort of contraception going on. Most women don’t have an abortion every year. There’s the pill, condoms (very accessible to students) and IUDs seem to be very popular among women who are married or are living in sin with some guy.

    Also, a lot of millennial women don’t want children. I’ve heard varied excuses from, “I want a career”, “for the environment”, “I’m not wrecking my body for a baby”, “too expensive”, “don’t want to be tied down” etc.

    From my own experience (I’m a millennial, waited until marriage, never used contraception or had an abortion), I was pushed by my parents to pursue a career to “better myself”, to “have more money”, to “have things my parents didn’t have”. Much to my dad’s dismay, I left my career to get married… at age 29, but our fifth baby is due in a few months! 🙂

    There’s pressure on women from society, schools, and even parents do pursue a career. It’s not the norm to get married before having sex, it’s not the norm for women to give up careers to be a wife and mother — there are many career women with 1-3 kids who would fight to the death to keep her career than to be a stay-at-home wife and mom even though she could be (but, that’s another debate).

    What it really comes down to is SELFISHNESS because children take away the selfishness that many millennials proudly cherish, and yes, I did have that mentality… that my parents supported.

    • Andrew

      Yours is true achievement since your achievement is of eternal significance, something that a cool vacation or shinier car will never, ever compare to. God bless you and your family.

    • Lattisha Fox

      I wouldn’t discount the “it’s too expensive”. In the current economy most people cannot afford to have a stay at home parent or more then 1-2 kids. It’s hardly selfish to know you don’t have the resources for more then that. It’s great that you can but it’s far from the reality for most people.

      I also don’t see how wanting to reduce your impact on the earth is selfish.

  • Grasshopper

    PSALM 127:3-5 “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

    Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.

    How joyful is the man whose quiver is FULL OF THEM! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”

    • Rob Schwarzwalder

      Amen!

  • Jesus-in-the-City

    Raising children is hard. Being a stay at home mom and sacrificing your own future plans and freedom is a huge commitment. Pouring yourself into training up children, dedicating the years and time, staying home with a bunch of kids while your husband goes out everyday and pursues the very thing you’ve been reared to believe you are owed and makes you a worthy member of society, is a hard choice in this day and age. It’s difficult and it requires sacrifice and that’s something women, and people in general, are willing to do less and less of in this day and age of secularized, feminist, “it’s all about me” society. Who would want to do that unless they were called by God or actually believed in the sanctity of marriage, the value of children and training them into adulthood and the importance of the family unit?

    Add this onto the overload of contraception, abortion, women waiting later to be married, same sex marriage, the desire for smaller families in order to limit the amount of sacrifice the parents have to make, and children being an inconvenince and disturbance more and more in modern society and it makes sense that fertility rates would steadily decline.

    When the church truly becomes the light of the world. When men as the head of families and women thriving in their homes shine as a light on a lamostand and not hidden under a bushel, when Christian marriages are thriving and working well and are healthy role models for the world; when the government rewards large families financially and there are maybe even larger tax breaks and incentives for large families, maybe we will begin to see a change. But until then, the church really has to start by being the change it wants to see in the world. It starts with the fruit of the Spirit and Love, humility, service and sacrifice in the home first. Keep praying for revival in America and the Western world .

    • Lattisha Fox

      Maybe God could have made the job suck less if he wanted more people to do it.

      • Jesus-in-the-City

        Hi Lattisha!

        Not sure if you read the Bible at all, but if you’re interested, you should read the first few chapters of Genesis. God actually created man and woman in the Garden of Eden in a very beautiful life that He called very good . That was His intention. The sin of mankind (Adam and Eve) or the free choice of man to turn away from God’s way is what brought selfishness, striving, toil, suffering and even the pain of childbirth and family relationships into the world.

        It’s a common deception to believe that the bad things we experience come from God, when actually, they are rooted in man’s sin nature. The LOVE of God to send His Son, Jesus, into the world to pay for and save us from our sins, out of love for His human creation, is actually the true nature of God. Unfortunately now, we still live in a fallen world, affected by sin and striving, selfishness and hardship, even as believers in Christ and the goodness of God. But through His Holy Spirit, God gives us the power to live righteously and be overcomers in this sinful world. It’s a struggle and sanctification is a lifelong process, this life tends not to be easy for most people, including parents, but we look forward with great hope to eternal life where we will live free from sin and death in the original circumstances in which God created mankind.

        I guess that’s a long way of saying, just because it sucks sometimes, doesn’t mean God made it that way and doesn’t mean we give up on God’s edict to be fruitful and multiply on the earth. There is much encouragement in the Bible, especially the New Testament, on how to live Overcoming lives and defeat the so-called suckiness, through things like contentment, thanksgiving, considering others before ourselves, looking forward to the joy and rewards of heaven set before us, etc. As society moves further and further from these attitudes and teachings it becomes harder for parents or anyone who chooses a way of life that is inherently sacrificial, but that still doesn’t make it an unworthy or impossible choice for any person. It just makes us rely on God’s help, promises and intercession even more than we might if it wasn’t so difficult.

  • Trilemma

    Reduced birth rates are a symptom of overpopulation. Read about the mouse experiments conducted by John B. Calhoun for a peek at the future of humanity.

  • James

    That’s why we need high levels of immigration to sustain the population. It’s far easier to learn Spanish than to raise a child.

  • Lisa

    Great article! As a homeschool mom, I have the privilege of running in circles of big Christian families who are living sacrificial lives while they raise kids. And one family I know is in China right now adopting their tenth baby. Living unselfishly provides a richer life for those brave enough to be counter-cultural. And their children are all delightful.

    I pray my kids can find spouses who will want children and that our culture will support intact families so that one parent can stay home. It’s a pleasure to raise kids when you can spend time enjoying their winsome ways.

  • Matamoros

    And the caveat. It is much easier to raise weeds than veggies. All high cultures are unique products of their founding people. Chinese culture is a product of the Chinese, just as modern European/American culture is built on a foundation of northern European genetics.

    Thus, one cannot expect to allow a mass invasion of other peoples to enhance or maintain the unique world spanning culture and technology our people have created. It is already evident that civilization itself is failing due to mass influxes of non-European peoples, and will fail completely in a few generations unless Trump’s efforts, and others, to rid the country of “weeds” so that the “veggies” can grow and prosper.

    I can already hear the outcry against and name calling about “eugenics”. So I will end this post with a quote from the 1949 Catholic Dictionary by Fr. Attwater:

    “EUGENICS. The science which aims at improving the well being of the human race by studying the factors which affect bodily and mental health, with a view to the encouragement of the beneficial and the elimination of the harmful. Statistics are adduced to show that the chief obstacle is the marriage of the unfit, leading to an increase of hereditable evils such as insanity, addiction to drink, consumption, venereal disease.

    “The Church has nothing but praise for the aim of eugenics and has no objection to the positive method proposed as a remedy of the evil, e.g., granting diplomas to the fit, endowing them to encourage the rearing of a large family, providing healthy homes. educating public opinion; but she cannot approve of the negative methods suggested by some eugenists, * viz. *, “birth control” (q.v.), compulsory sterilization (q.v.) of degenerates. Compulsory segregation would imply a prohibition of the marriage of the unfit; this runs counter to present ecclesiastical law’ which, while not encouraging their marriage, does not forbid it; the alleged facts do not justify an interference with their right to marry. Where eugenists go astray. it is because they forget or deny that spiritual well being is of far greater importance than material, and that even a tainted existence is better than no existence at all.”

  • CbinJ

    As a conservative, I have very deep differences with my friends who hold this position, specifically, as relating to one unanswered (unanswerable) philosophical problem:

    Why would you intentionally cause pain to yourself and someone else (a new life)? I have never recieved a logical answer to this question. I am anti-abortion because I don’t believe you don’t get to murder the consequences of your actions; but, I do not believe that it is moral to create a new person to feel pain and suffering in this cursed world. And the fact that we are still relying, theologically, on a verse in Gensis that was expressed before The Fall is problematic. I do not know of any verses in the NT (& correct me if I am wrong) that ADVOCATE childbearing. The Bible accepts childbearing as a natural state and even as a instinctual desire, but there is no moral command or advocacy. The Apostle Paul even advocates the opposite—that people don’t get married if the can stand it.

    I would also like to note as an aside that childbearing & pro-life advocates always omit or ignore the very real pain & danger of pregnancy. I listen to a lot of men like Jordan Peterson & his crew who are very pro-childbearing, but it’s much easier to hold that position as a man. There are plenty of women with severe anxiety & depression who are scared to death of pain or the concept of giving birth to a new potentially damaged life. Further, as I said, I am anti-abortion, but it seems to me that this pain is never mentioned as part of the reason some abortions take place.

  • Michelle Love

    I love the ‘Get To It’ part. I will certainly try – It’s finding a “committed, emotionally stable and pleasant Christian man or woman” that’s the challenging part of this entire article.

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