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International Birth Rates: Approaching 'prime child' level

One of the major tropes heard from abortion advocates is that access to 'reproduction services' are required the globe over to save the planet from a doomsday scenario of over-population. However, the facts do not support such a conclusion since the birth rate has fallen everywhere on the planet since the 1060's, a fact that for some reason is ignored by those who are running around claiming that the 'sky is falling' with the arrival of each new baby.


The article that is linked with this post points out that with the exception of a very few countries, national birth rate levels have dropped below replacement levels almost everywhere on all of the globe's continents. 


What has brought about such a rapid decline in births? No doubt one major contributing factor has been the availability of conceptive devices such as the birth control pill. But according to scholarly research, this has not been the most important factor that has led to the sudden decline in the number of births. Researchers are pointing to the rise in education levels, particularly among women, which has permitted them to enter into a more prominent role in local economies which has done the trick. To quote from a paper published by researchers at the University of Ottawa: 

The declines are only partially due to contraception, which was a mechanism that facilitated the underlying causes. The drivers included changing values; the emancipation of women and their increasing participation in the labour force; the high costs for child care and education; couples with fewer children enjoying opportunities for travel and leisure and an improved standard of living. (See Shah I. Eur J Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 1997; 2(1): 53-61). The instability of many partnerships was also a factor. 
Upstream of these factors were economic pressures, industrialization and urbanization. Changing labour markets are demanding increasingly educated and skilled workers, so the cost to parents of raising and educating numerous children becomes prohibitive. It also requires longer time in education, delaying childbirth among more educated people. As small-scale, family-run businesses decline, children are less economically useful to their parents.
It would seem then that expanding abortion services across the globe is not the best or even an effective way of dealing with concerns of over-population. Instead, development strategies that support initiatives such as those promoted by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi and not those trumpeted by Hillary Clinton and Justin Trudeau will best provide the path to global population stabilization, gender equality, and a sustainable standard of living for the world's population. 


International Birth Rates

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