Bonnie Chernin
Legal abortion, population control, and our demographic winter
By Bonnie Chernin
December 21, 2021

In a recent interview, billionaire Elon Musk stated that the most serious problem we face as a society is that not enough children are being born.

    I can’t emphasize this enough. There are not enough people. And I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birthrate and the rapidly declining birthrate.

He’s right. The statistics are grim; in 2020 the Center for Disease Control reported that the U.S. birth rate is plummeting and is the lowest it has been since 1909. The 2020 Census data shows that population growth is the slowest since 1930.

Part of the population decline could have been avoided had abortion not wiped out 63 million preborn babies that would be alive today. It’s astonishing that people can talk about a demographic shift of the magnitude America is facing without including the tragedy of abortion. It isn’t just the 63 million people that should be here and are missing, but their children and the generations after them that are lost. That loss is incalculable.

It is finally dawning on politicians that killing off our future generations was not in the best interests of America’s future. It is not just America; there is a dire global situation with childbirths below replacement levels in many countries.

Economists know that to have a productive society, you need a young, dynamic, and growing population and workforce to produce goods, and companies need labor. The large baby boom population is living longer, and these individuals will require urgent medical care due to normal aging, and more so because of the Wuhan virus variants that emerge and come to the United States. Millennials and the Z generation will face the added burden of financing the $2.7 trillion dollar budget deal. Social Security and Medicare are not solvent and the retirement age for anyone born after 1960 will now be 67.

The government does not have a solution to fix problems that require manpower. In 2010, the Social Security Administration issued a report describing the problems we face now. And it’s not just Social Security that is negatively impacted, but also Medicare, Disability Insurance, Hospital Insurance, drug costs, Old Age and Survivors Insurance, and more.

It’s gotten worse since 2010. In the United States, the fertility rate is about 1.7 births per woman. The BBC News reported that in 1950, “women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.”

The United States data at shows that in 1950 the U.S. birthrate was 24.268 births per 1,000 people. The population decline began after 1960 when Enovid, the first birth control pill, was introduced. In 1960, the birthrate dropped to 22.696. By the time the first abortion laws were liberalized in 1967, the birthrate continued its decline to only 18.308. During the 1960s there was a push for population control which is one reason Roe v. Wade was enacted. After 1973, the fertility rates declined at a more rapid pace. Today, there are only 12.001 childbirths per 1,000 people.

Population control proponents like Paul Ehrlich warned that overconsumption and a population explosion would deplete our natural resources. When Ehrlich revisited his book The Population Bomb in 2009, he continued to defend abortion and birth control. In a section: “What did The Bomb get wrong?” Ehrlich admitted the scenarios he presented were not predictions, and many did not pan out:

    The Bomb was also somewhat misleading in stating that the birthrate in the United States might soon rise as the post-World War II baby boomers matured into their reproductive years. Instead, it actually dropped significantly in the early 1970s…. And in 1968 the critical importance for lowering birthrates of providing women with education and job opportunities, as well as access to contraception and abortion, was under recognized, and we did not properly emphasize their potential role in reducing birthrates.

In his update on “The Bomb,” Ehrlich also took the opportunity to criticize Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, claiming that their administrations “encouraged high birthrates by withholding aid to family planning programs that allow women access to safe abortion.” It is more likely the birth rate increased in the 1980s because President Reagan saved the economy and by the time he left office, we were in an economic upturn. When people feel optimistic about the economy, they are encouraged to begin families.

During President George W. Bush’s administration census data reveals that the birth rate fell slightly, refuting Ehrlich’s claims. The reason may have been due to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and not a decrease in abortion funding. Regardless, taxpayers should not be funding the killing of unborn children.

The Washington Post overlooks abortion as a contributor to America’s population decline and blames the pandemic and President Trump’s immigration policies:

    Since 2010, immigration has declined, driven by the economic crisis early in the decade and government restrictions under President Donald Trump. The birthrate has also dropped, and life expectancy has dipped in the past couple of years — a reversal that has been driven by factors such as drug overdoses, obesity, suicide and liver disease and that sharply accelerated last year during the pandemic.

Millennials cite many reasons for not having children, including fears regarding the future of the pandemic, concerns about climate change, joblessness and where the economy is heading. But that is only a recent snapshot; the fertility rate in the United States has been falling for decades. Yet, politicians continue to push for more immigration as a remedy for our economic woes rather than admit that the millions of Americans killed by abortion is an obvious yet ignored factor in our population decline.

One of the most important films to see on the global population crisis we face today is the documentary Demographic Winter. It was produced several years ago but is relevant today. Unlike the picture painted by Paul Ehrlich and the population alarmists, the film’s predictions are sadly coming true.

© Bonnie Chernin


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Bonnie Chernin

In 1986, Bonnie Chernin attended her first pro-life convention where she met author Ann Saltenberger and received a copy of her outstanding book, "Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion." This book inspired Bonnie to become actively involved in the pro-life movement.

In the early 1990s, Bonnie volunteered at the office of Manhattan Right to Life, and began writing letters and op-ed pieces for local newspapers on the topic of abortion.... (more)


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