Have More Babies!
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.
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.”
“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.