What’s airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? “Dispelling the Overpopulation Myth,” Part 1
By Carol Tobias, NRLC President & Pro-Life Perspective Host
We’ve been going through thru our Pro-Life Perspective archives and recently came across an article on population decline written by Philip Longman. The article was first published in the Australian Financial Review in May 2004 and is a summary of the main ideas in his book entitled, “The Empty Cradle.”
Mr. Longman points out that it is not simply a few select countries that are experiencing population decline, but that the entire world is starting to see dips in fertility and birth rates. He concludes that our world is rapidly aging and without a change in our attitudes toward birth, children, and family, we will face economic and social problems never before experienced in the world.
The overpopulation myth should have been dispelled by the mid-1970, when massive famine did not take place as predicted. Longman writes, “In his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich warned, “In the 1970s the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
Even though the dire predictions in The Population Bomb did not and will not occur, many population control elitists are still waiting breathlessly for the fulfillment of Erlich’s gospel. Groups like International Planned Parenthood have made money off the myth by providing abortions and warn that without abortion, the population could spiral out of control.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
We have known for several years that the populations of industrialized countries like Germany, Japan, and Russia, have not been growing enough to replace the current population. Longman speculates that by 2050 Africa, the Middle East, and India will also have birth rates below population replacement levels.
A birth rate below replacement level means that, on average, couples are having fewer than two children. Given the high infant mortality rates in these developing countries, a birth rate at or below replacement level won’t be nearly enough to stave off large-scale population decline.
Mr. Longman reports, “Making demographics there even worse, the spreading use of ultrasound and other techniques for determining the sex of foetuses is, as in India and many other parts of the world, leading to much higher abortion rates for females than for males. In China, the ratio of male to female births is now 117 to 100 – which implies that roughly one out of six males in today’s new generation will not succeed in reproducing.”
Those ratios out of China are holding steady some eight years later. And some countries have realized that they are heading down the road to ruin. One report from China found the government running an incentive program, offering parents money to keep their baby girls rather than have abortions. Other countries, including Italy, have also considered monetary incentives to parents who are willing to have more than one child. While money is a nice incentive, it will take more than that to change ingrained attitudes about the value of children and family.
Negative population growth has the potential to usher in a host of new problems and attitudes regarding life. Sadly, while there may be a backlash against the abortion industry, the euthanasia business could enjoy a big boost.
A country that fears overpopulation will undervalue families and children, pregnancy and childbirth. A country that experiences underpopulation will target the elderly. Those seen as “detrimental” to economic survival will be placed in the cross-hairs of pro-death activists.
I hope you will join me tomorrow as I continue this discussion on dangers of the overpopulation myth, especially as they concern the elderly and the growing threat of euthanasia.
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