For most pro-choice voters in America, the abortion debate primarily centers on the defense of a woman’s bodily autonomy, or her “right” to choose. But history and elite contemporary politics show that abortion is more intertwined with population control efforts than most realize.
Though concerns about population growth have waned for many in recent years, the notion that populations can and ought to be controlled still drives of America’s wealthiest.
Many of these elites are old enough to remember when the ideas underpinning population control efforts first became truly mainstream. Take Bill Gates, for instance. He was born in the mid 50s, just in time for the originally explicit eugenic goals of U.S. abortion programs to fade away in favor of exporting abortion and contraception for controlling foreign population growth. Legendary businessmen-turned-philanthropists Ted Turner, George Soros and Warren Buffet are slightly older, but all appear to remain similarly enthralled by the neo-Malthusianism that became fashionable in the 1960s, which has lingered for decades in various forms.
Not only have these influential men been vocal about population growth concerns, they are the same ones leading — and, in most cases, funding — America’s pro-abortion charge. Soros wields his estimated $8.5 billion net wealth to fund a network of pro-abortion organizations. The Gates Foundation has donated $81 million to Planned Parenthood — America’s leading abortion provider — and its international affiliates since its founding in 2000 (although the foundation claims it does not fund abortion directly).
Buffett’s biographer describes him as harboring a “Malthusian dread” of population growth. Unsurprisingly, it seems he will channel the vast majority of his enormous estate into a pro-abortion group. And Turner, despite having five children, is outspokenly pro-abortion, going as far as to call for an international adoption of China’s one-child policy.
But the sad reality is that we already know the consequences of directly influencing population growth with national policies. Take, for example, Russia and China: Both nations bought into variations of the “population control” ideology now being boosted by Buffet, Turner, and the like. And today, both nations are facing demographic crises heavily shaped by policies that either incentivized or mandated abortions.
In China, it’s the result of the country’s unprecedented one-child policy, which compelled abortions and even sterilizations in an attempt to launch itself into economic development and success.
Although Russia’s massive demographic losses stem in part from World War II, the longstanding use of abortion as the primary method for birth control continues to prompt catastrophically high voluntary abortion rates every year and a corresponding plunge in birth rates. The USSR legalized abortion when the Bolsheviks came into power, citing medical reasons and getting women into the workforce. But within 14 years, there were three abortions for every single live birth in Moscow — a rate that alarmed even Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. By 1960, that ratio applied to the entire USSR, preventing the population from fully recovering its wartime losses.
Today, both nations are attempting to dig themselves out of the demographic black holes their pro-abortion policies created by implementing new population growth policies and incentives amid aging populations, but they still have a long way to go. And, still, American elites seem intent on repeating their mistakes here.
It’s imperative that we prevent them from doing so, both in moral and statistical terms. Slowing birth rates are not unique to China or Russia. Countries in every region of the world are facing fertility problems. For example, the U.S. has been “generally” below replacement birth rates since 1971 and “consistently” so since 2007. Global population growth rates are at their slowest since the 1950s. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently called the trend of “population collapse” the “greatest risk to the future of civilization.”
We agree. But the threat we face is more complex than simple population collapse. We believe attempts to influence and control populations stem from dangerous ideology that undermines an inherent right to life and human thriving. Further, we believe that the best structure for human thriving is a vibrant, strong family.
Strong families reflect the most cherished ideals of our founding, and aids in their preservation to create a strong nation. Our Founders believed that it was within the family — not the state — that love for liberty and justice can be taught and true freedom sustained. It is within the family that our future citizens and statesmen are nurtured. As history has revealed, any policy or cultural development that attempts to erode human flourishing and family strengthening should be rejected wholeheartedly and without condition.
As we approach an important election this November, it would serve us well to remember that the state properly exists to preserve, defend and guide life for the sake of its thriving. While our country’s elite continue to call for population control, we must elect men and women who have learned well the grim lessons history has to teach us, and who will work to defend the future of our great nation and its families.
Valerie Huber is the founder and president of the Institute for Women’s Health. She previously served as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Women’s Health. Timothy Head is the executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller