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January 16, 2023

We Need More Babies

More importantly, we need a culture that values the gifts of family and children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published on January 10 the results of a survey regarding family growth. Only half of all women under the age of 45 have children. That number is decreasing year over year.

Some of the birthrate declines can bee seen as a tempered positive. Young women in their teens, for example, are not having as many children. These women are more likely not to be married and therefore less likely to be put in a precarious socioeconomic and socially unstable situation.

According to the CDC survey: “Three out of four teen pregnancies that ended in live births were unintended at the time of conception. Women with unintended pregnancies that end in live births are more likely to delay prenatal care, smoke during pregnancy, and engage in other behaviors that may place them at higher risk for premature delivery and low birthweight infants. The teen birth rate in the United States has declined since 2007 (except for 2014), and in 2019 was at a record low of 16.7 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19.” This is a tempered positive is the sense that bringing a child into the world should be done in the bounds of a stable, committed relationship (marriage). However, this decrease in unintended pregnancies is also likely due to the negative effects of more birth control access or abortion clinics — not necessarily to any virtues of abstinence.

The overall result is still a decline in birthrates. Many married women in their 20s are waiting to have children until they are established in their careers. Sadly, this pushes their family-producing years into their 30s — exactly when fertility is in decline. Clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson recently noted that this waiting causes women to become more urgent. In an appearance on the podcast “Modern Wisdom,” Peterson noted: “What I’ve seen is that as women progressed towards their … late twenties, there’s a psychological transformation. And what happens is that they place less emphasis on their career and way more emphasis, particularly on having a child. And that really reaches a crisis point around 29 or 30 for the vast majority of women and their attitude flips.”

This could be that infamous “biological clock” phenomenon. There is a lot of truth to that saying about the biological clock. According to the CDC survey: “Delayed childbearing, having a first child at age 35 or over, increased ninefold between 1972 and 2012. … Delayed childbearing has been associated with declines in U.S. total fertility rates.” After 35, women are considered “high risk” and complications in pregnancies and childbirth are more prevalent. In other words, having a child after 35 is a gamble.

The worry about the decline in birthrates is not a new phenomenon.

According to The Wall Street Journal in May 2021: “Births peaked in 2007 before plunging during the recession that began that year. Although fertility usually rebounds alongside an improving economy, U.S. births fell in all but one year as the economy grew from 2009 until early 2020.”

Government, environmentalism, and feminism have been feeding women the lie that overpopulation is a problem. The government has a vested interest in keeping women in the workforce; it enriches the coffers. Environmentalists preach that children increase the carbon footprint and that having more than one is pollution on an epic scale. Feminists declare that women and men are the same, so women are supposed to like pursuing a career, sleeping around without consequences, and getting a big paycheck.

All of these entities are trying to convince women that service to others through the nurture and care of a husband and children is a net negative. Ironically, pursuing career over family is the real net negative.

Most women who choose the single lifestyle are not happy. The Institute for Family Studies’ Brad Wilcox and Wendy Wang found that socially and emotionally, women are not better off without kids. Using the YouGov/Deseret News American Family Survey, Wilcox and Wang wrote, “In 2020, 69 percent of mothers ages 18 to 55 were completely or somewhat satisfied with their life, compared with 61 percent of childless women the same age.” Why was this? “Kids seem to have brought a sense of direction, connection, and joy to the average mother’s life during the pandemic, at a time when so many other social ties were cut off.”

Political pundit Candace Owens underlines this fact by pointing out: “Generally, when I come across a full-fledged feminist woman who has warded off men — she isn’t a very happy person. In fact, some of the craziest and most bitter people I have seen out there are the most radical feminists.”

At this juncture it should be noted that there is a small percentage of women this does not apply to. They are perfectly content being single and childless. Perhaps they have dedicated their lives to another form of service such as being a nun or a caregiver of another sort.

Then there is that percentage of women who struggle with infertility. This road can be agony. For those who are struggling with infertility, this burden is not on you. This censure is merely on those women who are capable of reproducing and/or in a stable and loving marriage but are choosing not to have children because they’ve chosen other idols such as career and materialism over family and genuine happiness.

Sadly, childlessness by choice merely impoverishes women who have been led to believe that a life without children is a better one. Declining birthrates are a sign of a culture in decline — and one that doesn’t plan or hope for the future.

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