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America: Still Ain’t Birthin’ No Babies

U.S. fertility rate plunges to a new record low … again.

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“I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies,” Prissy (a.k.a. Butterfly McQueen) famously told Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 epic Gone with the Wind.

It’s okay, Prissy … nobody does.

According to a new report (.pdf) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America’s fertility rate hit another record low in 2017 – the latest year for which data is available.  According to the report there were a total of 1,765.5 live births per 1,000 American women of childbearing age over the course of their lifetimes – which was down three percent from 1,820.5 live births in 2016.

To put those numbers in context, maintaining the current population requires 2,100 live births per 1,000 women of childbearing age over the course of their lifetimes.  Our nation hit this rate as recently as 2010 (during the early stages of the Great Recession), but the numbers have dropped off markedly since then.

Meanwhile, as recently as the early 1960s, the fertility rate was hovering above 3,000 live births per 1,000 American women of childbearing age – again, over the course of their lifetimes.

So … what gives?  A lot of things …

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Women are marrying later in life as they launch careers, contraception is readily available and – let’s be honest – our society doesn’t exactly place a premium on the sort of sacrifice (financial and otherwise) associated with raising children.

If anything, our culture pushes the opposite sort of prioritization …

Finally, there is abortion … which (while on the decline in recent years) continues to rob our nation of hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

This news outlet has long argued that the right to life is the “first liberty,” and that without it “none of the other liberties matter all that much.”  We fervently believe that.  Of course it goes without saying women – and couples – who decide not to conceive children are exercising their liberty, too.

It isn’t for everybody …

If America is going to endure, though (and there is a legitimate argument that this event horizon has already been crossed), then it is going to need people to fill jobs, draw paychecks, pay down its staggering debt and defend the homeland from enemies foreign and domestic.

Oh, and that next generation better be ready to hit the ground running because the friggin’ millennials in this country are totally useless.

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