|Mr Khan said:
In a developed economy, a more liberal family-planning policy usually brings about higher birth-rates, because if we have a broader idea about how children can be brought up well, more men and women will be willing to bring them into the world, rather than ending pregnancies or just going heavy on birth-control pills. Japan is the bigger case here, for while they are actually quite liberal about abortion, they are conservative in almost every other respect of family-planning and have a hideously low birth rate.
Dear lord no.
I had this massive post to just flame the heck out of that statement and the incorrect causation/correlation who mentioned with Japan. There has been so much research and data accumulated on this subject that it’s staggering to see such incorrect assertions passed off as fact. The Japanese government has conducted so many surveys and researched every possible avenue to understand why the birthrate is so abysmal and what can be done to address it that a simple Google search would enlighten someone to the actual reasons attributed to this crisis.
Even using the National Abortion Federation statistics does one come to an alarming issue with our own fertility crisis. 1.3 million (Heavily disputed by the way) woman goes through an abortion annually. That doesn’t take into account abortions where they’re multiple children developing. The United States is at fertility below where we merely replace those who came before us; 1.89. We were at above 5.8% in the 70’s, completely dropped off the map before the 80’s, had a modest boost during a majority of the 80’s and right before the 90’s hit we were on the fast track to ghost town USA. On a side note a little case was ruled on in 1973 which had an impact on these numbers.
Now, take into account you stated having a more liberal family-planning policy brings about higher birthrates; not once in the history of mankind has that even become remotely close to being reality. The United States has the most liberal laws regarding abortion outside of China’s congrats you have a boy and whoops we dropped the girl policy. Yet, no increase in fertility rates outside of the 80’s bump (pun intended). Now we’re in 2013 and the reality is we must import mass quantities of labor just to stay at a fertility rate where we replace those who passed, not growing.
So, how about all those aborted children? Looking the data through the eyes of an accountant one can merely ask has the loss of potential from those aborted children in terms of having families of their own and contributing to our economy and society put us in this position where we must import labor just to keep our heads above water? It’s a simple issue called compounding interest; we lost their multiplier effect, contribution to our culture and society, earning and purchasing potential and the X factor which is how many of those aborted could have beyond measure impacted the world? How many could have been another Babe Ruth or Willie Nelson? We can put a number on that cost because we’ll never know what could have been, the potential was snuffed out.
That's the true cost of an abortion. What could have been.
I meant "family planning" in the holistic sense, to tie back into the argument about why these clinics are good for more than just abortions. Planned Parenthood isn't some sort of cover to deceive, after all. The idea is that, when women in developed countries feel confident that they can have kids without it being a detriment to their lives as such, they are more likely to do so. This is the bigger issue in Japan, which needs to be addressed by the Diet in terms of amending the Koseki system and either incentivizing or forcing employers to do more to support working mothers, as well as vastly broadening kindergarten/daycare availability.
The support structure for expectant mothers needs to be there. A legit planned parenthood clinic could convince a woman to have that baby, by way of demonstrating the presence of supportive services.
In a world where women are aware of options other than "have sex -> get pregnant," they will take those options if they feel it is a non-ideal situation. The goal should be to create an infrastructure that is both caring and inclusive, and knocking down a bunch of these clinics for no good reason is not going to achieve that.
It's not particularly ingenuous to ask "what could have been," either. The next Babe Ruth, or the next Ted Bundy? More likely the latter, if the child was unwanted, being born into a broken home or an impoverished situation. Sure there's the possibility of greatness, but the odds are quite long on that one.