Why do people have children? And why do entire populations stop having children?
No one is very sure of this. Okay, we have all sorts of guesses, but they all seem a little… slippery. For instance we say people in the old days had a lot more children because they were assets, helpers in the farms and guarantees of caretakers in old age.
Yeah – waggles hand – sort of kind of. Yeah, the kids were help in the farms, and could do things at ages that astonished you (like look after the cattle well before ten) but they were also a drain on food and the parents’ attention. And at a time when food was a very expensive part of life, and when attention was needed to wrest some food off the land by what were fairly primitive methods, children were a mixed blessing. Particularly when you considered how many of them never survived the time in which they contributed nothing.
There is something to be said for the old age, but let’s face it, in primitive or agrarian societies, your “old age” i.e. the period in which you couldn’t contribute at least something to society tended to be very short.
Mostly people had children because they wanted to have children, which is still true today.
In fact, the only thing that seems to make people stop having children is for their society to be conquered, their ways disparaged by the invaders, new ways of life imposed on them. It seems to be a constant throughout history that when humans cannot believe in their culture and carry it on into the future by having children, they don’t have nearly as many children.
I would argue that that – with socialist oikophobia conquering and taking over the west in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century – is responsible for our collapsing birth rates.
I could be wrong, of course. It could be that socialism, in and of itself, causes the collapsing birth rates. I don’t think so, but I’m also not going to be too offended if you do.
After all socialism, with its sky-high taxes, its onerous demands that cause both members of the couple to have to work and to be able to afford only a couple of kids — if that — takes the joy out of parenting for a lot of people. If you add regulations on how kids can be raised (now, apparently, it’s child neglect to let your children walk to school), and the devaluation of raising kids as a choice, which has most mothers giving their kids to strangers to raise in the industrial model kindergartners, perhaps no other explanation is needed.
Abortion is yet another phenomenon, above and beyond having children. While the left seems to believe that the children who get aborted get aborted because the mother can’t afford to have them, or because cruel society looks down on illegitimate children, or because they aren’t “wanted,” none of these seem like adequate explanations.
Most children who get aborted do get aborted because they’re unwanted (and yes, I find this an inadequate motive, since I was, myself, at least on mom’s part, unwanted.) Also because young people have been taught a culture of irresponsibility towards potentially generative sexual acts. Also because promiscuity is positively encouraged, almost enforced among the young. Also because — above all — motherhood has been devalued particularly among the young.
The reasons are in fact endless.
Do some children get aborted because the parents can’t afford them? Possibly. I mean, there must be at least a few, in the same way that a few children get aborted because their parents are afraid they’ll be reincarnations of evil beings from the dungeon dimensions. Or because the parents would rather have a color TV. I mean, I remember an article where aborting one of two twins was justified by a New York City woman as having to be done, so she wouldn’t have to move to an unfashionable place and buy bulk peanut butter.
However, what I can guarantee you is that no child, conceived in love, by parents who want him/her, is going to be aborted because the parents can’t afford prenatal care.
I have children who are now young men, and over my reproductive years, I’ve been friends and close to a lot of women who had a lot of children. I’ve never – ever – seen a woman turn around and say “Oh, I lost my insurance, so I’m going to abort this child that I conceived on purpose.”
Yet, this is exactly what a vile site called prolifeway.com is claiming. This is their claim:
The Senate is working to pass another health care bill that jeopardizes our pro-life values and puts the lives of mothers, children and unborn babies at risk. Under this new bill, mothers could be forced to pay up to $71,000 out-of-pocket to carry out a pregnancy. This tax on mothers could cost them their lives. 13 million women will lose access to critical maternal care, and reports indicate more women will seek out abortions to avoid rising costs of being pregnant that would be created by this bill. Simply put, this policy means mothers and babies will die.
There are so many lies in those words that they’re hard to figure out. Look, one of my sons is studying to become a doctor. Part of his work is done at an urban hospital where – pretty much every day – they deliver babies for indigent and illegal immigrant women. Heck, they provide them with prenatal care also.
Most women who don’t have/can’t afford insurance have some form of care available to them from charity, and if not, our hospitals will perform it anyway and roll the price into other patients’ bills.
That $71,000 amount might be true, for a pregnancy with a lot of complications and top of the line care. I’ll explain in a minute why that is plausible.
What no one is going to do is to demand that mothers pay it out of pocket, as a condition of care. That has never been the case in America since I’ve lived here. Repealing the Obamacare act, a bill so flawed that often it forces poor people to pay for care, while not having any doctors in their city or state that accept the plan, will make no difference for this.
And what if it did? What if you told a woman she was going to have to pay that, over time, to have that already-loved child she is carrying?
Oh, I’m willing to believe some liberals think it’s plausible she’d abort. Liberals are very weird in some ways, and they view children as “things that must be perfect.” They talk like children need the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect economic conditions and the kindergarten that will ensure they go to ivy league colleges. This is why they don’t really reproduce much, or, when they do, they write horrible screeds about their sons who turn out not to be perfect because they’re male, or something.
But normal human beings don’t think of their children that way. I know that in a very personal way.
Just over a quarter of a century ago, a young couple who had been trying to conceive for the six years of their marriage managed to have a pregnancy survive. Then they found out the mother had pre-eclampsia. In an effort to keep her from killing herself (after being hospitalized three times for getting out of bed for things like water) the husband requested his company give him leave of absence to stay home and look after her. Instead of this, they fired him.
Suddenly the young couple was paying their Visa with their MasterCard, and their mortgage with both. And as the pre-eclampsia grew worse, doctors pressured the wife to abort. To make things worse, they were also making very high payments on COBRA so they could have some sort of coverage for the birth.
In retrospect, it might have been better to pay for the birth out of pocket. After withstanding all the insistence that the baby should be aborted (because pre-eclampsia meant he would be brain damaged) the couple ended up having a nightmarish delivery, with three days hard labor culminating in an emergency Caesarean with three surgeons.
The bill – which arrived in dribs and drabs over the next few months, as they desperately tried to find a job/any job and the wife suffered post-partum depression – came to around $20,000. Given that, it’s possible it would not be close to $79,000.
The couple took three years to pay it off, three years during which they made jokes about their son being repossessed.
The son is not mentally retarded. At least not visibly. He’s the one mentioned above, who is now in medical school.
And my husband and I have never regretted those three years when buying a paperback book meant we ate pancakes for every meal for a week.
Because a child is more than an economic transaction: for me, for my husband, for most normal, non-materialistic human beings.
Heck, we’d be more than willing to contribute to charities that help indigent mothers with prenatal care and delivery. As would most people.
But even if children were a purely economic decision, forcing people to pay a “health care tax” for health care they might or might not receive, as Obamacare does, would make it less likely that people would carry children to term.
Socialism is bad for children and other growing things. No matter how much socialists claim otherwise.