Every reason offered for abortion is a bad reason. But there is one reason often thrown around which is not only bad, but dumb. I refer to those who argue that abortion is necessary because it helps to control our overpopulation crisis. They claim that planet earth is far too overcrowded, and abortion is a neat way to keep things in check. But there are a number of problems with such a position.
Even if we are overpopulated – and many experts dispute the claim – abortion is not the answer. Just as the answer to a crowded apartment building is not murdering half the residents, so too here, murdering the unborn is not an acceptable solution. There are many couples eager to adopt children. That is certainly a more humane solution.
And if we are serious about proposing death as a solution for the problems of world hunger and overpopulation, why stop at just killing unborn babies? Why not kill adults? After all, they eat a lot more than the unborn, they consume a lot more resources, they take up a lot more space, they make more demands on our environment, etc. The point is, one serious social problem cannot be solved by means of another serious social problem.
Indeed, apply this to any other situation. Many prisons are experiencing manifest overcrowding. Would it therefore be right to kill, say, a third of all prisoners, in the interests of reducing prison populations and to relieve overcrowding?
And many hospitals are full to overflowing. Overcrowding in our hospitals is a perennial problem. In order to free up much needed hospital beds, should we simply go through the wards and bump off, say, forty per cent of patients? That would certainly free up the beds. (BTW, this is not a foolish and far-out proposal. In 1994 the Economic Planning Advisory Commission discussed the rising costs of health care for the elderly, and the problem of overcrowding in hospitals. In a publication called “Australia’s Aging Society,” EPAC actually looked at the use of euthanasia as one option in the whole discussion!)
While arguments for overpopulation seemed to carry some weight back in the 1960s (recall Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb), today the real problem is not a population explosion, but a population implosion. Rapidly falling fertility rates are becoming a major concern around the world, certainly in the West.
A number of recent books have documented this population implosion, including The Empty Cradle by Phillip Longman (2004); and Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future by Ben Wattenberg (2004).
And concerns about supposed overpopulation have often resulted in many draconian and inhumane policies, such as forced abortions, sterilisations, and widespread eugenics policies. Jacqueline Kasun warned about this in her important 1988 book, The War against Population.
Much more recently population expert Stephen Mosher released a book tackling these very issues. Entitled Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefit, it offers a sober warning about how population control zealots are using draconian methods and implementing eugenics policies in their push to curb human numbers.
As Mosher puts it, “For over half a century, the population controllers have perpetuated a gigantic, costly and inhumane fraud upon the human race, defrauding the people of the developing countries of their progeny and the people of the developed world of their pocketbooks.” He continues,
“Determined to stop population growth at all costs, the controllers have abused women, targeted racial and religious minorities, undermined primary health care programs, and encouraged dictatorial actions if not dictatorship. They have skewed the foreign aid programs of the U.S. and other developed countries in an anti-natal direction, corrupted dozens of well-intentioned nongovernmental organizations, and impoverished authentic development programs. Blinded by a zealotry worthy of Al-Qaeda, they have even embraced the most brutal birth control campaign in history: China’s infamous one-child policy, with all its attendant horrors.”
In 250 fact-filled pages, Mosher carefully documents these claims, and shows how eugenics is alive and well, being promulgated by the no-growth zealots. Indeed, he reminds us that there are many serious voices urging us to not just stop population growth, but to radically reduce current population levels. Many are saying our 6 billion-plus population should be cut back to one billion, or two billion at the most.
Of course how these 4 to 5 billion people are supposed to be bumped off is not always clearly stated. And none of those calling for such drastic measures seem to have volunteered to lead the way here. But they are very happy for other people to “do their bit” to save the planet.
Mosher documents the horrendous human rights abuses that are occurring in the name of fertility control. And he reminds us that the real problems people face in the developing world – lack of adequate food, water, shelter, health care – are being overlooked by the population controllers.
For example, every 20 seconds a person dies of malaria, or about 1.5 million people per year. Yet a group such as USAID spends $10 million to target this deadly disease, while spending hundreds of millions on fertility reduction programs.
Developing countries are awash with condoms, abortifacients, sterilisation agents and antenatal products and programs, while the people there simply want clean running water, basic health care and proper sewage facilities. But Western governments think they know better, and are inundating these nations with their anti-life arsenals.
Our problem then is not too many people, but wrong policies being pushed onto the developing world by the developed world. We do not need to force people to not have children. What we need to do is offer them the basics in care and health that we expect for ourselves.
It is true that we do have a population problem. But it is a population implosion, not an explosion, which is the real problem. Abortion and fertility control programs are not only contributing to the problem, but those pushing such antenatalism are coercive utopians who are promoting the same eugenics line that Hitler and the Nazis did on a bigger and nastier scale.
In a few short decades the world’s population will peak at around 8 billion people, then a process of decline will set in. Today eighteen countries already fill more coffins than cradles each year, and that number is steadily rising. Yet the pro-aborts and population controllers seem oblivious to this fact.
In the light of all this, it is interesting to note that Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v Wade abortion decision in the US is now both a Christian and an anti-abortion campaigner. She tells of one of the key reasons why she had such a radical change of heart from her earlier pro-abortion days.
She says she was in a park one day which was nearly deserted. No kids were playing on the swings or having fun on the slides. She wondered where all the children were. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks: “We have been aborting ourselves out of existence”.
Abortion is always wrong as it takes the life of an innocent human being who is unable to protect himself or herself. And it is certainly wrong when done for a bogus reason like the so-called population explosion. The world is facing a birth dearth, and abortion is part of the problem, not the solution.