FACTS

    According to recent studies, birth rates in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest since 1979. While predictions of a “birth boom” were rampant during the start of Covid-lockdowns, the opposite has actually occurred, with a 4% decline in births since this same time last year. The month of December, nine months after lockdowns began, saw an 8% decrease. Today, women are giving birth to less than two children on average, while in the 1950s, that number was more than double.

    ECONOMIST RESPONSE

    Many economic experts warn that the effect will be a “crisis” that is far-reaching and long-term, with the country unable to replace itself as more people die than are born each year. “At some point the question is going to be: The women who delayed having babies, are they ever going to have them? If they don’t, that’s a permanent notch in the American births structure,” said Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire.

    LEFT

    Some on the left view the changes as a positive thing, especially for women’s education and advancement. Laura D. Lindberg, a reproductive research scientist at the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, noted that with the shift “comes more education, more career, more employment” for women. “So it’s a reordering of how people engage in adulthood,” she stated. Author and “reproductive freedom advocate” Laura Carroll tweeted, “Birth rates down (although as of today, one birth every 8 seconds, one death every 12 seconds in the US), teen pregnancy way down, and women waiting longer to have their first child for responsible reasons are all good news to me…”

    RIGHT

    “That decline should be a matter of intense public concern. Attention naturally gravitates toward the immense and mostly negative fiscal, economic, and geopolitical implications. Even those consequences may pale beside the loss of vitality — very nearly a loss of literal vitality — for our civilization.”

    The Editors for National Review

    National Review‘s editors also noted that “the case for using public money to subsidize abortion — already objectionable on moral grounds — is even less sensible in a country that is finding itself short of babies,” and stated that it is not only a political and policy issue but one in which “spiritual transformation” in the U.S. is needed. Kimberly Ross, a columnist for Arc Digital, wrote, “A wholly unsurprising aspect of the modern era is the decision to pursue career and life goals before settling down and raising a family.” She noted, however, that the changes will affect “healthcare, infrastructure, and technological innovation,” and argued that “young Americans should be encouraged to establish homes and have children for the good of us all.”

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