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    • Mary

      Halting all abortions would help SS until women discovered that they didn’t have to conceive children they don’t want. Most would resort to contraception rather than abstinence, no doubt, but remember that births fell only a single-digit percentage after Roe vs. Wade.

    • MarylandBill

      Mary,
      I would say very few women plan on using abortion as a form of birth control. Rather, I believe most abortions are the result of either failed contraception or women who just failed to plan in the first place. Neither scenario suggests that banning abortion will be compensated for.

      Further perhaps the birth rate only fell a small amount, but it occurred at a time when birth rates should have been increasing rather significantly. 1973 was when the heart of the baby boom was entering their prime child bearing years. Instead of the boomers having most of their children from 1965-1980, when they were in their 20s, they had them in the 80s when they were in their 30s and 40s.

    • Chris

      To be more precise, Leo the XIII wrote Rerum Novarum.

    • Michael PS

      MarylandBill is right. The Baby-Boomers did start their families nearly ten years later than their parents, but they also had only about half the number of children. Women’s total lifetim fertility rates dropped from about 3.9 to 1.9 children per woman.

      Now, no increase in average family size, unless it rises to West African levels of 6+ children per family will reverse the decline. Thirty years of declining birth-rates means that there are not enough women of child-bearing age to reverse the inevitable aging of the population.

      These trends can best be studied in Japan, where they are uncomplicated by significant inward or outward migration.

      Any civilisation that fails to reproduce itself, not as a result of war or natural disasters, but from a lack of moral energy and faith in its own future, must be judged a failure, at the most basic level.

      That said, the USA has a higher fertility rate than almost anywhere else in the developed world, perhaps becasue so many emigrants came there to make a better life for their children and not just for themselves

      Projection is not prediction, but at their present rate of decline, in 200 years, most European languages will be spoken only in hell

    • MarylandBill

      Michael,
      The drop in fertility is perfectly understandable. Most studies suggest that fertility in women starts dropping off after age 30, so if a woman delays the start of her family from 23 to 32, its going to become harder to have kids to begin with. In addition, of course, she will have fewer years of fertility left in which to have kids.

      Now, I am not sure I entirely agree with you that our wives need to start having 6 kids to reverse the trend. What we do have to recognize however is that simply increasing average fertility in this country to say 3-5 kids per family is not going to solve the demographic problem over night. Rather it will take decades, indeed, probably generations, before the damage is undone.

      I also hold out more hope for the future. I think what might ultimately happen is that those who are more committed to traditional values, and who therefore have larger families, will ultimately over take the rest of our “culture” and ultimately they might restore both the fertility of the west and its cultural vitality.

    • Michael PS

      MarylandBill

      It is not the actual size of the population, but the age distribution within it that is the problem.

      The Baby-Boomer Generation was twice the size of the GI Generation. Generation X, however, was slightly smaller than the Baby-Boomer Generation. In other words, the TFR (Total Fertility Rate or lifetime number of children) of women of the Baby-Boomer Generation was about half that of their mothers