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August 23, 2006

Comments

Old Zhou

What I said about the article earlier this morning, slightly corrected:
--

This whole liberal-baby vs. conservative-baby argument is pointless.

See Global Population Profile 2002
at US Census Bureau, especially detailed tables by gender, age, country in Appendix A.
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/wp02.html

Global population: 6.2 billion.
Population under age 15: 1.8 billion.

USA population under age 15: 60.7 million (a mere 3.35% of the world's children).

India has 338 million, or 18.7% of the world's children.
China has 311 million, or 17.2% of the world's children.
Indonesia has 69 million children, or 3.8% the world's children.
Each of these countires has more children than the entire United States.
Together, these three countries in Asia have 12 times as many children as the United States.
Do you wonder why every corporation in the world is trying to get into China and India?

55.7% of the world's children are in Asia
19.4% are in Africa.
Together, Asia and Africa have 75.1% of the world's population under age 15.

If you represented the total global population of children under age 15 as a gallon of water, all the children in the United States, regardless of the politics of their parents, would fit in 8 tablespoons.

Y'all better stick together.
The global tidal wave is coming.

Actually, it is already sucking resources out of the United States, as steel and concrete become very expensive in the US, because of all the construction going on now in China.

US Conservative vs. Liberal fertility?
A pointless agrument if there ever was one.

David B.

But even among so-called pro-lifers there is lukewarm support for abortion in "extreme cases". Getting rid of it may take even longer, thanks to those smart, open-minded people.

Curious

Ah Jimmy,
Why did you have to go from nice, sedate topics like Pluto and have to bring immigration back onto the front burner? Just kidding, good points, Old Zhou notwithstanding.

Mike

I believe that the key to ending legalized abortion in America is twofold: education and reducing the abortion rate. Education is self-explanatory. People need to fully understand the beginnings of human life, and to recognize exactly what the abortion procedure entails.

The reason why reducing the rate is important is that if abortion becomes rare, less people will approve of it. Currently, about 33% of pregnancies are aborted in this country. This means that for every three women that gets pregnant, one of these pregnancies will be aborted. That's a lot of women. And a lot of husbands, boyfriends, families and friends of women who have abortions. And a lot of people who want to rationalize these abortions away.

If the abortion rate went down to, say, 10%, a lot less people would be directly affected and be able to view the issue in a much more objective manner.

Unfortunately, as we are slowly taking down abortion, any positive progress we make is being slowed by almost universal societal approval and acceptance of contraception, embryonic and fetal research, in vitro fertilization, homosexuality, and fornication. With no end to any of these in sight.

Mike

Also, regarding conservative babies vs. liberal babies - your theory might have some merit, as long as the conservative babies that stay faithful to their parents' values can outpace the ones who are brainwashed or tempted into the liberal ideology.

ajesquire

Your "analysis", such as it is, assumes that a sufficient majority of politically conservative people favor overturning Roe v. Wade. It also assumes that immigrants "legal or otherwise" favor keeping abortion legal.

I'd hate to break it to, but a number of people who have had, or support, legal abortions are the children of people who oppose the practice.

You might as well argue that abortion will make abortion disappear because the offspring of people who support/practice abortion are aborted.

J.R. Stoodley

Abortion was once pretty much universally condemned in Europe. Now it is pretty much universally condoned there from what I hear.

Abortion was once pretty much univerally condemned in the United States, now most people think it sould be legal at least in some cases.

Sorry, I usually agree with you Jimmy, but this is a battle of ideas that we are loosing not a battle of fertility that we are loosing. As the artical states, 20% of children grow up to vote differently than their parents. I am one of them. It only takes a few generations to radically change the political climate, but it would take many generations for your "Roe effect" to make a difference, even more with immigration. Furthermore the Republican Party is not strongly pro-life. Most of them support abortion in at least some cases, and there are more outright pro-choice Republicans in Congress than pro-life Democrats. If (or when) the Pro-Life movement in America looses steam and starts to look more like the ones in Europe, I bet we will see a move to a more and more "moderate" Republican stance on abortion, which means no fertility factor will help.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but the abortion holocaust looks to me like it will be a centuries-long problem, if not one that will last till the end of time. That does not mean that every generation of pro-lifers from now on should not fight the practice, including by making a politician's stance on abortion the primary factor in whether or not to vote for him or her.

Matt McDonald

"the key to ending legalized abortion in America is twofold: education and reducing the abortion rate."

The key to ending legalized abortion is to make it illegal. Ways to improve the possibility of accomplishing that include education and reducing abortions. It's an important distinction, because there are many who, calling themselves pro-life decry the idea of criminalized abortion. I'm not saying anyone here is that way, just that it's quite a popular "dish" in the cafeteria, call it "pro-life lite".

J.R. Stoodley

I meant to write, "this is a battle of ideas that we are loosing not a battle of fertility that we are winning." My bet is that the conservatives of the end of the 21st century will as a whole be staunchly pro-choice.

joe

I disagree with a few posts--only my opinions. We here the political arena is becoming more polarized. This seems to be a logical consequence of having to fight a bit for what you believe.

In my circle of friends I seem to be able to make the following statement: the stronger a person's "pro-life" position *seems*, the greater the desire to have a larger family (as voiced by themselves). Disclaimer: I do not pretend to make a generalization for the entire country or world; and I certainly don't pretend to know for certainhow "pro-life" a person is on a scale of 1-10. That said, in my pool of freinds, including a whole range of persons from liberal to conservative, the pro-lifers do seems to be destined to contribute more babies who will have the benefit of a very strong faith formation. Will some of those babies stray? probably, but i'd bet that many will profit from the said formation and go on to be great witnesses to the faith(including being pro-life).

Brother Cadfael

ajesquire,

You might as well argue that abortion will make abortion disappear because the offspring of people who support/practice abortion are aborted.

You might indeed. Stated another way, abortion bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

BillyHW

I think the article fails to consider the liberalizing effect of much of the education system, but otherwise it makes good points.

Mike

Matt said, "The key to ending legalized abortion is to make it illegal."

This is obvious enough. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. But how is it practical? What are the steps that need to be taken? That was my point. And hence my suggestions for what it will take to get the country to where it needs to be.

Our nation is tumbling into secularism, and I don't think a law to make abortion illegal will come to pass anytime soon. Polls indicate that even the voters in South Dakota plan to reject the new abortion ban.

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

There have been other articles in WSJ and elsewhere along those same lines. And without the corruptly liberal educational establishment it could be a sensible prophecy. However the schools --even at the lowest grades-- have become liberal indoctrination hothouses. For example, my grandaughter came home to ask her father why he worked for such an evil company-he is the comptroller of a paper plant in a city dependent on the timber industry. Not only is the public school teacher nothing but an environmentally radical propagandist --she is a moron considering the city would have almost no jobs or schools there without the timber industry. Examples like this abound here in Mass. where gay propaganda is introduced even in the very lowest grades. I am a retired public school teacher but now think it is virtually moral child abuse to send your kids to public schools in many cities and towns.

DeeDee!!

Actually, I think(pray) that abortion will be illegal and unthinkable in a generation or two.
One, for the same reason Jimmy posted, but also-
Abortion hurts women, and aborted women are speaking out against the practice and joining the pro-life movement. A large number of women in the pro-life movement are aborted women.
People are starting to realize that abortion isn't the quick fix that it was thought to be in 1973.
We know so much more about the fetus now than we did then- also, there are studies that have shown that abortion can definalty contribute to breast cancer later on. Post abortive counseling has shown that women are also hurt emotionally and spiritually from abortion(and men as well). I think somehow- abortion isn't the "knee jerk" answer to an unplanned pregnancy the way it was in 1973. Young people 18-29 are much more against abortion as well.
Now having said all this- there is still much work to do both in the public and political arena.
Most people don't really like abortion- but they see it as linked to womens rights- People still believe that a woman can't be equal unless she can control her reproductive life(i.e.have an abortion) Somehow that perception must be changed before abortion can become unthinkable.
The fact that abortion hurts women- si a good start-as Silent No More and Rachels Vineyard can attest to.

JohnH

Why do you think liberals are trying to keep kids in failing indoctrination centers public schools

Jeb Protestant

The problem is: how many church leaders will denounce public (ie, government) education as immoral and tell their members of their obligation to get their children out of these schools? For example, Catholic bishops have urged voters to support higher taxes for schools. And I think I read that the Southern Baptists voted down a motion that would have encourged Baptists to remove their children from public schools.

Old Zhou

I actually know more Catholics than Protestants that have had abortions.

Having an abortion basically means that you failed at contraception.

Most smart, well-educated liberals are contracepting, not aborting.

So, even if abortion were illegal everywhere in the US, and in every situation, it would not change the lack of babies in the US.

Abortion is just the "last resort."
Prior to that is contraception, and the avoidance of pregnancy in general (add in here all sorts of sexual activities which are "not open to life").
Prior to that is the general attack on marriage in the culture, from "no fault, easy divorce" since 1970, to numerous "man (or woman) optional" lifestyles, etc.

In the three Asian countries I mentioned earlier, India, China, and Indonesia, which together have twelve times as many children as the USA, marriage and family are still the foundations of society (as opposed to free individualism in the USA).

Outlawing abortion will not solve the problem of lack of children. It will just make one form of murder illegal again.

horatio

It really bothers me how little Republicans have done to stop the stem of abortions in America. With command of the House, Senate, and Executive Branch, Republicans have brought to the floor next to no bills that propose restrictions on abortion (many of which would be within the limits of the Constitution and Roe v. Wade). Instead Republicans prefer to use it as a political tool during elections. Why not make laws to limit abortions (and save lives) instead of simply fighting the grand old fight and passively sit by as all in question are murdered in the womb?

A changed SCOTUS is the best long-term answer, but does that excuse our current inaction?

We have lost a lot of sincerity and genuine belief in politics. How discouraging it is to be a Republican these days. How dreadful it is to be a Democrat. We should pray for all those in the political sphere to show courage beyond their political means.

dean

Old Zhou,
It's a start.

patrick

So sad. Here in Japan, the abortion rate's high, but the population of Japan is decreasing so the Government now encourages people to have more offspring. I just hope that doesn't happen to America. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us

J.R. Stoodley

I hope the more optimistic people posting here are right and I don't think I will argue against them since I don't want to squash their hopes, but I see little hope myself.

Patrick,

It's happening in France and Italy too apparently. I think it would be happening in the United States if it were not for the immense (and generally liberal) hoards of immigrants (illegal and otherwise).

Old Zhou, just you wait. Those Asian countries will go the same way as the West as they "develop". I believe it is called the demographic effect or something like that. First the death rate of young people drops, causing a dramatic rise in population, then fertility drops, stabilizing the population.

Puzzled

When something like 80% or more of evangelical youth leave the church after they graduate from college, the birthrate isn't going to do much good, I fear.

Liberal blogsites view parochial schools as "madrasas" to be shut down for the sake of homeland security. The war against the terrorists has become the 'war against extremism', and to them, we are the extremists.

Karen

I tend to hold that we need to better catechize our youth, with an emphasis on apologetics and philosophy in high school. I went to a Catholic school and I learned--at a high school level, anyway--the basics of what we believe. I didn't learn much in the way of WHY we believe what we do. I was ripe for the picking for any atheist or anti-Catholic to convert, if I spent enough time in those circles.

There is probably room in high school for some apologetics. Seniors in high school, particularly, aren't that far removed from college freshmen, who will be introduced to moral relativism in disguise, and Philosophy 121 (for me that was Philosophy of Religion).

Many Catholic students do not go on to a Catholic university. There are many reasons for this, including money, family circumstances, and matters of some non-private institutions having a better department in the area of a student's interest.

So I believe we have to teach youth in high schools as the young adults they are. (They're learning calculus and physics, for goodness' sake.) Inevitably they'll be approached by an anti-Catholic at some time, and perhaps most often, they're utterly unable to support Catholicism, and if they do remain Catholic, it's often for social reasons.

I speak from experience as someone who doubted, perhaps was agnostic for a while but had a nagging feeling that God must exist despite Philosophy 121 (William James kept me hanging on). I practiced absolutely nothing for a while. Finally, I explored and compared a few other religions and denominations looking for consistency in teaching and how tough questions and objections were answered, which is the very thing that led me (reluctantly at first) to the truth of the Catholic Church.

Not many years ago, I was saying stupid things like, "I don't approve of abortion but I wouldn't legislate my opinion." And deep down inside, I *knew* there was something wrong with this. I just didn't have a name for it like I do now: moral relativism. I knew it was wrong and after I'd say things like that, I'd try to work out how such statements made sense. They never did. I felt funny and admitted that logic does matter, that absolute principles do matter, and that they exist even if people disagree on what they are. So I applied this to the most difficult issues in my life and in society as I saw them, learned about Natural Law, how to recognize a good argument, and was led to the only Church that seemed to have things hammered out.

It was important to be honest with myself and I know the Holy Spirit was working overtime to push me. But I'm an introspective type. I fear that some who do not have this bent are more easily lost, without recognizing they are lost.

So I'd like to see some preventative measures being taken in high schools. My school was all right, but if only there'd been some apologetics and philosophy in the mix. At least on the senior level, my classmates and I were ready for something introductory that at least could have spurned us on to have the initiative to find answers on our own--with the confidence that the answers are there for the looking.

Karen

Hi again. If I could add something... I guess I don't feel right leaving my last post like I did without also saying that during my comparative religion phase, both Catholic and Protestant writers did help me out a lot. I had to part with Protestants on certain precepts and conclusions but they nevertheless made a lot of sense on issues prior to where I'd have to depart. This helped to keep me Christ-centered and to define and defend absolutism, which I thought I must necessarily be (absolutist). It did not hurt that their zeal and love touched me. I wanted to love too. I recognized this as ideal, and I was developing a zeal for Love. Somewhere along the line, in battling relativism, I sort of worked out that Love is God and God is Love and Truth and that this is the ideal, the force in morality, with the help of both non-Catholics and Catholics. All of a sudden, the abstract message "God is Love" written in cut-out felt letters on those decorative grade school banners I'd grown up with, which hadn't made sense to me before, made sense. And it clicked that He is also Truth, the Way, the Life. I'd go to atheists with this understanding, still in its infancy, and ask, "Do you believe that love is the primary working principle?" And if they'd say "Yes", then I'd tell them that they believed in God, then, but just didn't want to call God, God. (I was pretty exuberant about my finding; maybe that wasn't the best way to approach it).

Anyway, Catholics and non-Catholics alike had a part in bringing me out of the dark. It seems I should give credit where credit is due. It's not only the God is Love discovery, but the arguments for God's existence, what Love is, the pro-life and pro-marriage arguments, the impact of godlessness on society, etc.

Joy Schoenberger

Just a note on statistics.

Currently, about 33% of pregnancies are aborted in this country.

One of every three pregnancies is aborted, but not one of every three U.S. women has had an abortion. That 33% includes multiple abortions by the same woman.

Most smart, well-educated liberals are contracepting, not aborting. So, even if abortion were illegal everywhere in the US, and in every situation, it would not change the lack of babies in the US.

Aside from the point about abortifacient birth control (e.g. just about any hormonal form), the goal here is not to increase the birthrate in the U.S. It's to end the killing of innocent unborn children.

If you represented the total global population of children under age 15 as a gallon of water, all the children in the United States, regardless of the politics of their parents, would fit in 8 tablespoons.... US Conservative vs. Liberal fertility? A pointless agrument if there ever was one.

I don't think Jimmy ever made any statement about global implications. He said the "Roe effect" might turn the tide of law in the U.S.. Is this not so?

Joy Schoenberger

One more thing...

Many Catholic students do not go on to a Catholic university.

Most Catholic universities in the U.S. today are not very Catholic, anyway.

Patricio Acevedo

For the population to be stable, every woman has to bear two children until the age they can have their own.
To fill the 1 on 3 proportion of abortion, every single woman would have to be pregnant at least three times: two times for the population quota and one tiem for the abortion quota.
Think about it: every single woman.
For the 33% to be true, half of the population would have to abort, most of the times with the knowledge or consent of the other half.
That's simply unbelievable.

Brother Cadfael

Old Zhou,

[In] China . . . marriage and family are still the foundations of society (as opposed to free individualism in the USA).

This is the same China that still, as far as I know, has a one-child policy and infanticide runs rampant?

John J. Simmins

Patrico: I believe the statistic is that about 40% of the women in the US have had an abortion. I know of men who have been involved in two and three abortions (with different girls) while in college.

Brother Cadfael

Here is an Abortion Fact Sheet, although I cannot vouch for the veracity of the information (and obviously do not agree with their reason for posting the information). It says that "At current rates, about 1 in 3 U.S. women will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45."

So...if you're looking for the number who right now have had an abortion, I would expect it to be much less than 1 in 3.

momof6

The point that has been danced around here, but missed, is that you will not eliminate abortion without eliminating contraception, and by corollary, contraceptive thinking. Remember, "fruits of the same tree".

DeeDee!!

momof6, of course you are absolutly right.
Many of my friends that are my age (early 50's) have been sterilized after their one or two children(especially if they got their boy and girl) Not all, but a lot of them.

Kasia

I wonder how common surgical sterilization was before hormonal contraception and abortion became legal and prevalent? Was it part of the "contraceptive thinking" that led up to cases like Eisenstadt & Roe, or was it fairly uncommon?

I'm curious because I know my grandfather was sterilized in the early 50s after their fourth child was born. (They weren't Catholic...) My grandmother told her doctor "Every time I look at Art (my grandfather), I get pregnant!" I'm wondering if they were unusual or if that was fairly common.

Old Zhou

Bro. Cadfael asked above:
"This is the same China that still, as far as I know, has a one-child policy and infanticide runs rampant?"

Yes.

The same China with [urban] one-child policy and legacy of infanticide.
Not the USA where every couple is free to have 20 children.

That must explain why China, with less resources than the USA, has a population of 1.3 billion, including 311 million children (24% of population), while the USA has a population of 287 million including 61 million children (21% of population).

There are more Chinese under age 15 than the entire population of the United States.
Don't lecture China about not having children.
Failure to have children is equivalent to treason, let alone a great shame to the family, in the opinion of some traditional Chinese writers.

On the other hand, "living alone" is now the most common household form in the USA.

It is not a matter of "liberal" vs. "conservative,"
or of "China" vs. "America."

It is a matter of the abondonment of family in the West as a basic, foundational social structure in favor of the cult of the individual, who even replaces God.

This is not the case in China (where this foundation is realized in a Confucian and secular form), or India (where this foundation is realized in a poly-religous form), or Indonesia (where this foundation is realized in a Muslim form).

And, to be quite honest, you might want to consider what the alternative would be if China's government had not been so harsh. What would you do if there were not 311 million Chinese children today, but 1.2 billion? Already China's economy is sucking raw materials and jobs out of America. Almost all top corporations and top business students are aspiring to work in Asia. I say again, Asia and Africa now have 75% of the world's children, of the world's future.

The Western hemisphere, Europe, and Australia only have 25% among them, and a lot of that is in Latin America.

Demographics are destiny, dude.

Jamie Beu

The immigration issue is a key point in the liberal stategy to remain relevant. Immigration (especially illegal immigration) is a key to liberal/Democrat wins in future elections, not only because those immigrants tend to vote liberal more than they vote conservative, but they also are, by and large, Catholic (at least, in the sense that they do not believe in or practict abortion or birth control as much as the general population - unfortunately, being "Catholic" doesn't necessarily keep them from having premarital sex!). Importing this large group of liberals that are reproducing is the only way Democrats can replace their aborted/birth controlled numbers.

This is why it is so important to be actively engaged in the battlefield of ideas. Liberals tend to control the public schools - somebody's gotta teach them the other side, so they can make the most informed (and not just rote) decisions.

Mike

"And, to be quite honest, you might want to consider what the alternative would be if China's government had not been so harsh. What would you do if there were not 311 million Chinese children today, but 1.2 billion?"

I would say "奇异". I would rather see that many kids alive than dead.

StubbleSpark

The Roe Effect is not the only thing at play here. Liberals will be more likely to tell their children to "find your OWN truth" rather than indoctrinate sacred traditions.

Also, Liberals generally are more cynical when it comes to "converting" people. Most of the people I talk to believe the whole idea of sharing your thoughts on issues like religion, politics, and abortion are useless endeavor.

The reason we do not abort is because we hope. And this bears a whole 'nother kind of fruit.

By focusing on the "Conversion Effect" we can counter act even the influx of immigrants by inviting them into our parishes.

John

Lack of faith is lack of hope is a lack of children (in general).

Brother Cadfael

Old Zhou,

Don't lecture China about not having children.

Call it a lecture if you want, but I will speak out against any society -- East, West; U.S., China; wherever -- that brutally murders its children. China's one child policy and the related practice of infanticide are evil, and I will not pretend otherwise.

Not the USA where every couple is free to have 20 children

Alas, if only American culture would properly regard having children as freedom. But you are correct in noting one thing, at least the government does not come in and prevent it. And make no mistake about it -- that is a good thing.

J.R. Stoodley

Brother Cadfael,

Right on! However, we may be closer to a one child policy in the United States than you think.

I go to an environmental college (SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry). A few years ago I took a class called Global Environment. A very good class in general that I think should be (with maybe a tweek here and there) required in all college programs. You just have to know that stuff to live in this world, plus it gave a general overview of many branches of science and social science which has other applications.

In that class we had class discussions on all kinds of subjects. In the discussion on global human population, EVERY SINGLE STUDENT who participated in the discussion except me thought that the United Nations should impose and enforce a one child policy over the whole world. It is important to note that about half the class kept their mouths shut and the professor seemed rather shocked though he kept his personal opinion to himself as always, but it is scarry that these are the nation's future environmental experts.

Oh, and pretty much the same discussion occured again in an Economics class I took the next year, except then the majority was in favor of just the United States enacting the policy. Again, I was the only person to argue against it.

Pray for this country and the world. It is headed in the wrong direction.

Tim M.

I am still puzzled by pro-life Pres. George W's endorsement and pushing of the morning after pill (Plan B, abortion in a pill) over the counter. Also Jimmy, by your lack of mentioning this.

the only thing I can think is that part of his base (the super-rich / corporate America) pushed him too hard on this or it was a promise made that he had to keep.

Brother Cadfael

J.R.,

Scary stuff, indeed. Although I cannot imagine that idea ever gaining enough traction politically in the U.S., I must admit that a lot of things I cannot imagine do, indeed, become reality.

Anon

G.K.Chesterton made the observation that "the more my opponents practice Birth Control, the fewer there will be of them to fight us…"

Also, in regards to comments on ways to reduce/eliminate abortion I have a strong suggestion: focus on womens' needs. Many pro-life approaches aren't focusing on a key idea: providing for a woman's needs so that abortion is unthinkable.

What are her needs? What is she lacking that drives her to this option? It is always a lack of practical and emotional resources.

If women had strong emotional support from the people they trust and practical resources to give birth/parent a child and not have to sacrifice education or a career- this would be truly respecting the dignity of life- for woman and child.

This approach would have allowed a woman I know who chose to give birth the ability to continue higher education and provide for themself and their children- and not drop-out of college. This would have allowed another friend not to continually suffer emotionally years later from her abortion.

Here are some practical solutions:
-Make campuses friendly towards pregnant and parenting students (there is a hostile anti-pregnant student atmosphere on most campuses)
-Make work environments friendly to pregnant/parenting emplyees (moms AND dads)- this would be life-affirming feminism
-Educate others about the plethora of resources available to pregnant women and parents
-Volunteer with organizations that support women in crisis situations
-Let your own children, friends, and family know that they are loved and supported

For supporting education and legislation that is pro-woman and pro-life go to:
www.feministsforlife.com

For what it's worth, I'm a 23 year-old female. My demographic is the exact target. I find pro-life feminism to be the most effective outreach to my peers.

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