There has been a lot of news lately about declining birth rates and changes in population in various countries. Pro-population groups have used this opportunity to predict doom and gloom if people don’t start having more babies. Taking that approach, a demographer named Andrew Pollard discussed “Societal Suicide: The Profound Demographic Impact of Contraception” at the Contraception is Not the Answer conference. In contrast to the friendly, cheerful demeanor of the other speakers, Pollard sounded angry and vehement. He made some of the most outrageous statements I heard during the entire conference, which you can listen to in the audio clips at the end of this post.
What impact does contraception have for America as we near our 300 millionth citizen? Contraception helps people plan if, when, and how many children to have. So wouldn’t you think that Pollard would talk about how planning a family helps plan population? No, the anti-contraception crowd believes the more children the better (regardless of parents being able to support and care for them), and that’s definitely not what Pollard talked about.
Pollard opened his presentation by saying that America leads the pro-life movement because no place in Europe would host an anti-contraception conference. (I would like to congratulate Europe for not having as many anti-contraception people, though Britain sure does have at least one who is very vocal!) The theme of his presentation was that contraception equals the loss of babies and therefore causes a catastrophic drop in births. Exploiting American patriotism he said, “It’s like having a 9/11 every day for thirty-five years… that’s the impact of contraception and sterilization alone, not including abortion.” (Listen below.)
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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His first example of the population “crisis” was of a letter sent to parents by the Poultney, Vermont elementary school principal, pleading with them to “please have more babies” because “the school needs them.” He moved on to paint a picture of empty playgrounds and desperate governments taxing the childless to pay parents. He even declared that the Germans and Hungarians are both “finished” because their populations are falling.
As Pollard broke down the U.S. birth rate by state and race, the audience sighed in disappointment when he showed slides of birth rates below the replacement rate (2.1 children per woman). He blamed the decrease in births for the increase in immigration and then linked the latter to terrorism (in his own country): “The problem is a lot of [countries] have seen the solution in getting larger numbers of immigrants in and up to now for Britain alone they’ve been taking them from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and the problem is we’ve been growing our own bombers.” (Listen below.) I don’t know if the rest of the audience was asleep or just enthralled, but that statement did not evoke a reaction from the crowd.
To close, Pollard discussed his own set of ABC’s. No, silly rabbit – not Abstinence, Be faithful, and use Condoms. Attitudes, Behaviors, and Consequences. Pollard’s conclusion is that selfish Attitudes towards sex and children lead to the Behaviors of contraception, sterilization, and abortion – as well as working women and childless couples. What are Pollard’s Consequences? Increasing state costs, pension crisis, and dying countries.
Reality check: Contraception helps to reduce poverty and enables women and men to have children in a time and manner that is right for their situation. Contraception is not an abortifacient, but it is a useful part of many Americans’ every day lives.
Anti-abortion/contraception groups are not helping to save America – they’re helping to divide it. Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you wish, but not a “pro-abortion spy.”
Andrew Pollard: "9/11 Every Day"
Andrew Pollard: "The Germans Are Finished"
Andrew Pollard: "Growing Our Own Bombers"