Exporting the Culture of Death

For his latest column, Bishop Tobin imagined the interview he would conduct with President Obama:

TOBIN: But the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions is very controversial. It’s a divisive policy. It violates the conscience of millions of Americans who respect life and oppose abortion. Isn’t that completely contrary to your goal of fostering unity in the nation?
OBAMA: Bishop Tobin, let’s be clear. I said in my inauguration speech that with all the problems our nation is facing we have to overcome narrow ideological positions and move beyond childish behaviors.
TOBIN: But, Mr. President, providing tax money to support abortion — isn’t that in itself an ideological position?
OBAMA: No, not in my view.
TOBIN: But do you consider the heartfelt convictions of pro-lifers to be “childish behaviors?”
OBAMA: Well, not exactly, but let’s move on . . .
TOBIN: Is it safe to assume that you consider the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions overseas to be good foreign policy?
OBAMA: I believe that people overseas should have the same rights we Americans have — the right to kill their children and use abortion as a form of birth control.
TOBIN: But shouldn’t we be using foreign aid for more positive reasons — for example, to provide food, clothing, shelter and medicine to impoverished children?
OBAMA: Bishop, obviously you’re missing the point. If you control the population and eliminate the children, you don’t have to worry about giving them food, clothing, shelter and medicine now do you?

Nicholas Eberstadt the question of whether such a response would be accurate:

Population alarmists and their allies in the U.N. are deluding themselves when they claim government intervention can reduce fertility rates and “stabilize” population. Their mantra is that education, high literacy and cheap birth control lead to lower birth rates.
Health, literacy and voluntary contraception are meritorious objectives in their own right, irrespective of any influence on population growth. But it is misleading to assert that they predictably reduce birth rates.
Take literacy. The adult-literacy rate in 2006 was about a third higher in Malawi than Morocco (54 percent vs. 40 percent), yet fertility levels in Malawi were double. Family-planning campaigns are similarly unpredictable. For instance, in 1974 Mexico started a vigorous campaign to cut population growth and got fertility levels down by 56 percent but Brazil’s fertility level fell by 54 percent with no campaign at all, in the same quarter century. These are not cherry-picked examples. There is simply no way of knowing in advance the impact of family-planning programs on birth rates.
It turns out that the single best international predictor of fertility levels is the number of children that women say they would like. …

Yes, culture is the determinant of such behavior, and it has been the argument of we on the Right that the normalization of abortion and extensive promotion of contraceptives tilts the culture the wrong way. To Leftists, however, there is no culture but their culture, and whether they arrive at their policies based on their beliefs or hope to promote their beliefs through their policies is moot — indeed, irrelevant.

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13 years ago

I would be interested in seeing if there is a corelation between birth rates and infant mortality. In countries where infant mortality is low is there a relationship to lower birth rates and is the inverse true where infant mortality is high.

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