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The Truth About “Over Population”

Victor Nieves   |   February 08, 2024

It has been said by pro-abortion advocates that our planet is facing an existential crisis. They state that there are simply too many people and as a result, we must allow abortion. This argument proposes that it is morally justifiable to intentionally “cull the herd” of humanity to save the world.

The pro-abortion advocates are wrong. They are alerting us to a problem that simply does not exist. Our planet is not facing a crisis of overpopulation.

Abortion advocates may assert that we cannot hope to feed billions more people. That too is false. Scientists project that our planet could easily supply enough resources to sustainably feed billions more people than currently exist.

In fact, according to a report published by the Cato Institute, “After analyzing the prices of hundreds of commodities, goods, and services spanning two centuries, Tupy and Pooley found that resources became more abundant as the population grew.”

As more information becomes available, the belief that overpopulation is an existential threat is becoming less popular. “We should be much more worried about population collapse. If there aren’t enough people for Earth, then there definitely won’t be enough for Mars,”  stated Elon Musk.

To address this misconception, Life Issues Institute has created an interactive map which shows the fertility rate and net population growth rate of every country. Contrary to pro-abortion assertions, we in the western world will soon face a crisis of underpopulation not overpopulation.

Around the world nearly all developed nations are suffering from an alarming trend. People are not having enough children. For a society to maintain its existing population, they must maintain a fertility rate of 2.1%. This means each couple should have 2.1 children. This magic number is known as the replacement rate. Any society that has a fertility rate under 2.1% is said to be below replacement.

Another important metric that must be observed when tracking the population of a country is their overall population growth rate. Although this metric is less significant at a global level, it is still important to understand if a country is growing in population or not. In many cases countries may have an overall positive population growth rate which gives the illusion that all is well, when in reality, the country is growing as a result of immigration, not births. The significant nuance is that this represents a global population exchange with people migrating from one area to the other, rather than true population replacement via birth.

Life Issues Institute has diligently researched and compiled relevant information from around the world to paint a clear picture of how dire the situation may soon become. Depicted in the interactive map which is available on our website countries that are at or above replacement rate, and seeing a positive overall population growth rate are green. Countries that are at or above replacement rate but experiencing a negative overall population growth rate (or vice versa) are orange. Countries that are below replacement rate and experiencing a negative overall population growth rate are red. When a country is clicked on our website, this data will appear as well as the steps taken by that country to increase their population.

Red: Below replacement rate + negative population growth rate Orange: Below replacement rate + positive population growth rate (or vice versa) Green: Above replacement rate + positive population growth rate

What can be observed at first glance is the harsh divide between regions of the world that are predominantly green, and those that are red and orange. Generally speaking, countries in the continent of Africa are doing very well. They have positive growth rates and are well above the replacement rate. Similar can be said for countries in the continent of South America and regions of the middle east and India.

The western world on the other hand is a very different story. North America and Europe are in dire straits. Most of these nations are significantly below replacement rate, and many are also experiencing an overall negative population growth rate. As can be seen on our website, it is also common for these nations to be significantly below replacement rate but kept in the orange due to an influx of immigration from other areas in the world. This may allow these countries a temporary reprieve from the coming problems of depopulation, but it does not change the problem that these nations are simply not having enough children to sustain their own populations.

When nations fall below replacement rate the consequences can be very severe. The population will begin to age, placing considerable strain on the economy. Without enough young people there will be shortages of workers. Industries like construction, agriculture, energy production, and manufacturing will begin to buckle under the weight of the upside-down population. Staffing in retirement homes, hospitals, and doctors’ offices will struggle to keep up. Programs like social security are kept afloat by the taxes paid by young, working aged people and will not be able to provide for those who paid into the system years prior.

The long-term sustainability of a nation is largely dependent upon maintaining a healthy fertility rate. In the United States, our states can be used as a clear case study. Growth is perhaps the clearest indicator of a state’s success. New York state is suffering the fastest population decline in the nation, a cause for concern. Meanwhile, Florida is enjoying among the strongest population growth rates and reaping the benefits. It should be alarming then that nearly all nations in the West are heading in the wrong direction.

As a result, many countries have begun to place considerable focus on how to reverse these negative trends. When interacting with our map online you will what see steps have been taken by various countries to reverse their negative trends. Among the most common themes that can be observed throughout Europe is monetary incentives. Families will be provided with “Family Credits” or allowances based on their income and the number of children they have. The goal is to literally pay families to have more children. They hope to ease the financial burden that families with children may experience.

One such example of this is the nation of Spain where qualifying parents can receive a one-time cash payment of €1,000. With a negative population growth rate, and a fertility rate below replacement, Spain will soon face serious troubles if they are unable to turn things around.

Other countries have tried more creative approaches. Russia announced that September 12th is national procreation day and those who have children on June 12th (nine months later) will receive a reward. Russia also reintroduced an honorary award called “mother Heroine” given to women who give birth to and raise ten or more children. Mothers awarded the title receive one million Rubles, worth over $16,000.

Officials in Thailand announced several plans to address their fertility rates, one of which included the use of social media influencers to promote having more children. Even North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has acknowledged the country’s population crisis and instructed mothers in North Korea that it is their duty to have more children in an effort to stop the declining birthrate.

Created by TIME

Meanwhile the regions of the world that are seeing population growth driven by high fertility rates are often doing next to nothing to incentivize fertility rates. While the western world has been driven to paying people to have children, the rest of the world remains unbothered. Why is there such a stark difference?

One possible explanation is the fact that the western world aborts its babies. Each year in the United States alone it is estimated by the Guttmacher Institute that there are approximately 900,000 babies killed in abortion. Globally there are tens of millions of babies killed each year. In fact, there is a near perfect inverse relationship between fertility rates, and legalized abortion. Comparing our map of global fertility rates and population growth to maps that show global abortion laws a very clear observation arises.

With limited exception, the regions of the world that allow abortion on demand are the regions that are struggling with low fertility rates. The areas that have booming fertility rates just so happen to be the areas with the most protections for the unborn. The top five countries with the highest fertility rates are Niger, Somalia, Chad, Mali, and the Democrat Republic of Congo. What do these countries all have in common? They have strong protections for the unborn and their mothers and reject abortion on demand.

Among the nations of South America, the majority are enjoying relatively healthy fertility rates and positive population growth. One nation stands out, however. Uruguay is suffering from a negative population growth rate and is below replacement rate. We decided to research what about this nation was different from those around it?

In 2012 Uruguay became only the second country in Latin America, behind Cuba, to legalize abortion for all women. Since that time Uruguay has experienced a sharp decline in fertility rates, specifically among young women aged 15-24. Research published in the Rio Times concluded that this drop in fertility among young women was responsible for approximately half of the overall drop in fertility. Research published in PubMed observes that legalizing abortion was responsible for a measurable decline in youth fertility rates in Uruguay.

Interestingly, the piece published in the Rio Times titled “Fertility in Uruguay Dropped to Extremely Low Levels” stated, “Along these lines, the researchers cited as an example the role that improving options for avoiding unplanned pregnancies, such as voluntary termination of pregnancy (VTP), may have played. However, they clarified that the data do not show a significant increase in the number of abortions.”

However, according to official MYSU numbers, Uruguay saw a 143% increase in legal abortions between 2013 and 2020. During this time Uruguay entered the beginning of what is described as the “great decline” marking a steep and accelerated decline in fertility rates to an “extremely low level.” It appears aborting the nations’ youth has a decidedly negative impact on fertility rates.

Though abortion cannot be said to be the only driving factor behind the world’s fertility rate crisis, one thing can be certain. Abortion is not helping.

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