Saturday, October 18, 2008

Abortion: The Great National Security Threat

In the last presidential debate, the issue of abortion was brought to the forefront of the campaign for a few minutes. With the differing views of abortion from the two candidates, we need to ask ourselves what are the consequences of their ideas on the issue? Is abortion a threat to our national security?

Since the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in 1973, 45 million pregnancies have been terminated between then and 2005. That is 45 million more people that could be contributing to our society, contributing to more taxes to help balance our budget, contributing to spreading the greatness of our country to other nations.

The infrastructure of our government is degrading every year. The baby boomer generation is beginning to retire in the next few years, which will increase the strain on the government’s ability to perform basic functions that it has promised to these people. Medicare and Social Security are going broke unless something drastic is done within the next 10-20 years. 45 million more people in the workforce would not eliminate the problem that Medicare and Social Security are facing, but it would certainly have reduced the problem and delayed it so that we would have more time to come up with a solution.

This problem of abortion in our society represents an incredible degree of self-interest among Americans. Regardless of a person’s personal views on abortion, why not think about what is best for the common good of our society instead of thinking about what is best for oneself? People with an unwanted pregnancy see it as an inconvenience that will prevent them from doing something that they want to do, such as go to school or get a good job. Why not see a baby as something that can contribute to the good our country? These individuals could have created a cure for cancer. The military is currently resorting to accepting people with less than desirable backgrounds to fill its need to add 92,000 soldiers to its forces. 45 million aborted babies could have made our military stronger so that they would not have to recruit people with criminal backgrounds. 45 million aborted babies also means less consumers and producers, which equates to less taxes for our government. How can our government not recognize what it is doing to itself by permitting people to abort babies that could contribute to our society in positive ways?

The United States is going down the path of the European societies whose birth rates are not replacing their population. They are experiencing the death of their society and we will also if something drastic is not done in the near future. Russia currently aborts about 64% of all babies conceived there. When they make the threats that they have been making recently about increasing their military spending and threatening the United States, it is nothing more than saber rattling because of their declining population. If they become involved in a major war and experience the loss of life on the scale experienced in World War II, they would not be able to recover and provide the necessary services for their people. We are heading down a similar path. The birth rate among women in the United States is 2.03 births per woman, slightly below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Our country continues to grow because of population momentum and mainly because of immigration. If immigration were to level off or begin to decline then the United States would experience a declining population, which would place even more strain on the government infrastructure.

The essence of Barak Obama’s views on abortion is that he wants to make abortion even more accessible than it currently is. He supports the Freedom of Choice of Act (FOCA) that would not require minors to notify their parents before an abortion, make abortions legal for all 9 months of a pregnancy, and force health-care individuals who have a moral objection to abortion to participate in the act of abortion or possibly run the risk of losing their job. He calls an unwanted pregnancy a “punishment” that a woman should not have to endure. People with moral objections to abortions probably will not vote for Obama anyway. However, people who don’t have moral objections but are concerned about our nation’s future should also consider how Obama’s view of abortion would affect our national security.

13 comments:

Researcher said...

I know I shouldn't respond. I know, Don't Feed the Troll. But, anyway...

There is good evidence that lack of availability of abortion ends up increasing crime rates and destroys social cohesion. I won't go into the full details, but they can be found in "Freakonomics." Even if his methodologies are flawed, they're air-tight compared to this.

Matt said...

I've read Freakonomics and I'm familiar with the argument rehearsed there regarding abortion and crime rates. I should point out that Levitt's arguments have been seriously called into question by other economists. However, regardless of whether Levitt's argument on abortion holds up, this point is a red herring. What Joe the Plumber (who knew he was also a blogger??) appears to be arguing is that the absence of a group as large as 45 million people from a society means a significant decrease in a nation's economic and military resources and power. Researcher's comment is not actually an argument against Joe's post.

Pretzel Stick said...

Would we have 45 million jobs for all those people? :)

Joe the Plumber said...

We most certainly would have more jobs for these people to fill. The economy would have to provide for 45 million more consumers so there would naturally be more jobs to produce what these consumers would want. The essence of the argument is that our country is less secure due to having 45 million less people. Were not the countries of Europe less secure after both World Wars due to the large death toll inflicted their populations? Having more citizens means a greater pool from which to draw from. This means more doctors, soldiers, farmers, factory workers, inventors. Making an argument in favor of abortion based on the issue of not being able to provide jobs for those individuals has no foundation.

Pretzel Stick said...

Doesn't it also mean that there is a bigger pool of people on welfare, committing crimes and being general scourges on society? It works both ways.

Robert Farley said...

Couple of points...

There was once a Battlestar Galactica about this very issue; Baltar was pro-choice, President Roslin was pro-life. So to speak.

Second, there's a problematic assumption here: Restrictive abortion laws do not necessarily reduce abortion rates. Women have access to abortion even under restrictive conditions; there's a lot of data to show that the effect of Roe v. Wade on overall number of abortion was pretty mild. Wealthy women have access to abortion from traditional health care providers (the uterine scrape was the abortion method of the bourgeois pre Roe v. Wade) while poor women get the classic "back alley" abortion. And so the 45 million number is simply a mirage; if you installed a draconian legal regime you'd have marginally fewer abortions, but certainly wouldn't reduce the rate to 0%.

A concerned citizen said...

The 45 million number is no mere mirage. Although it is inherently difficult to estimate pre-1973 abortion rates, by some conjectures the rate of abortions increased ten-fold (see See Syska, Hilgers & O'Hare, An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and Its Implications for Public Policy, in New Perspectives on Human Abortion 178 (Hilgers, Horan & Mall eds. 1981)).

Moreover, we should consider that other nations have walked this path before and witnessed its disastrous consequences. In 1920 the new Soviet government began offering free abortions in order to keep women out of the home and in the workforce. So shocking was the population reduction that by 1936 Stalin had to seek desperately for a way to limit the damage (Mervyn Matthews, “Soviet Social Policies,” in The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, ed. George Schöpflin (New York: Facts on File, 1986), 43).

It is a simple biological fact that populations which do not reproduce enough offspring dwindle and eventually die off. The replacement rate is 2.1 births per woman. Right now Russia is far below that rate, and, as a result researchers estimate a 25% reduction in the Russian population in the next 50 years (Sharon LaFraniere, “Russians Feel Abortion’s Complications,” Washington Post, 22 February 2003, A16). What effect do you think that will have on Russia's national security?

OMARCOMIN! said...

Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

OMARCOMIN! said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYCMxD4pylM

Robert Farley said...

a concerned citizen,

Ahem. I don't know that I've ever seen someone blame abortion for the population decline between 1920 and 1936 in the Soviet Union; I had tended to think it had more to do with the active genocidal tendencies of the Stalinist regime, the massive famines, and the destructive civil war. But then if you're trying to suggest that draconian abortion restrictions are Stalinist (this would seem to be the upshot of the comparison), I can hardly disagree...

Also, you should never introduce a statistic with the phrase "by some conjectures"; it indicates straight away that the statistic you're about to introduce is nonsense. The ten-fold number is certainly not one that I've ever heard before; even cruising pro-life websites the largest number I've seen argued for is a 100% increase. From a comparative perspective, Latin America has far more draconian abortion restrictions than Western Europe, but also enjoys much higher abortion rates.

In terms of the United States itself, I guess I'm just not all that concerned; the population of the United States continues to grow, albeit through immigration. This changes the ethnic character of the United States, it's fair to say, but that's not something that really worries me, either.

Robert Farley said...

I should also say that I think this is a legitimate national security question. It surely does involve a clear value trade-off question; ought the United States government force women to have children in order to increase the national population? More broadly (and stepping out of the direct abortion question) ought the United States actively pursue policies that will increase the national population? France, Germany, Russia, and others most certainly do pursue such policies, while China and India pursue the opposite policies (with national security again one of the key justifications).

Delta Blue said...

Ooh! Yeah! Let's encourage women to have more babies, but only the genetically "superior" ones, we don't want all these immigrant children. The Lebensborn program worked so well in Nazi Germany, I think we should consider something like that here.

Just another thing to consider... if there were a hypothetical 45 million more people, that wouldn't mean 45 million more workers necessarily. If women had their children instead of having abortions, I'm sure some of those women would chose to stay home to raise those children instead of working. But that's ok, we don't need all these women in the work force, it's a much better plan to force them back into the home to be barefoot and pregnant.

(This overly sarcastic comment was brought to you by the letters SS and the number 1)

William James said...

Just a few points:

1. The point about Russia is that it inculcated an abortion mentality during the Soviet years which became a type of norm, the repercussions on its demographic freefall are well documented. According to UN statistics, Russia has the highest rate of human potential destruction (from a fetal standpoint) globally. The country is quickly becoming a paper tiger sitting on a hugely distructive capability without the resident human capital to manage it; another national (international) security paradox.

2. The comment made by Farley relating to legal abortion numbers less than or equal to restrictive regimes doesn't seem logical, prima facie. On a national level, when a government legitmizes (by lessoning legal restrictions and punishments) a certain behavior, it encourages rather than discourages that behavior. When legal coerciveness is diminished, the action is considered permissible and increases. In the case of the US, abortion is an industry (the fetal distribution chain) supporting medical, pharmaceutical , and even cosmetic enhancements (a kind of secular cannibalism to improve the lives of the those presently living ). Ironically, aborted fetuses are needed because of their potential, a Mengelian type of reasoning. This depraved utilitarian path and abortion numbers were limited before legalization. You would be hard pressed to prove it otherwise, but be my guest.