This post is about IVF (in vitro fertilization), fertility drugs, and population. First off, I know this is a long post, in fact 7 pages typed out, but it easily could have been twice that long. So please bear with me for the duration. And I may expound upon related issues (genetic testing, embryonic stem cells, and further abortion/population control) at a later date. That being said I want to start by stating a few fundamental points that I want everyone to keep in mind during the duration of this post.
1) The only population problem we are having is a lack of population. Over population is the last problem the earth is having. All the people on the planet could comfortably fit in standard apartment style family housing in the U.K. That’s right, those couple of small islands off the west coast of Europe could contain all of human population. Of course, the U.K. isn’t the nicest of places, climate wise, how about fitting the entire world’s population on the big isle of Hawaii? We’d fit. And that would leave the rest of the world for food production, animal husbandry, manufacturing plants, undeveloped natural habitat, and even future growth. Why is this important? Well apart from being a very interesting mathematical fact, it makes the point that all those ‘population control’ arguments are nothing but an attempt to blackmail the ‘breeding’ members of society to commit cultural suicide.
2) Since all qualifications for biological life are met the moment sperm and egg unite, since life is either classified as human or non-human (its biologically impossible to be ‘potentially’ human or ‘potentially’ canine for instance), and since murder is defined as ending human life without the justification of law or self-defense, therefore all destruction of human life in the pre-birth age group, unless for the express purpose of self-defense, is murder.
3) Every species that drops below replacement level in reproduction, without specific intelligent intervention, has suffered extinction.
4) Replacement reproduction is 2.7 children per woman. All the economic power countries in the world are below replacement level for their native women, and most are below replacement level even including immigrant women. Most third world countries are close to or below replacement levels as well.
5) The most common natural spacing of children for a healthy woman is 18 to 30 months (depending upon natural fertility and breast feeding), and human women most commonly reach sexual maturity between 13 and 16. They loose the ability to naturally reproduce between 40 and 45 years of age. That leaves about 25-30 years of reproductive ability, or, let us assume 36 months between children to be generous, between 8 and 10 children given normal human fertility. (No I’m not necessarily advocating women start having children as soon as they are capable, but historically, morally, and biologically speaking there aren’t any actual reasons against it as long as that women is in a faithful, lifelong marriage partnership, these are simply statistics.)
In this day and age, especially in first world countries such as America, we are being told some very contradictory things. First off, it’s the ‘right’ of every pregnant woman to murder her baby and become not-pregnant. At the same time we are being told every non-pregnant woman should have the right to use unnatural intervention to become pregnant. (Since both abortion and IVF/fertility treatments are usually covered by either insurance or governmental welfare programs, taxpayers are being forced to pay for these ‘rights’.) Then we are being told that it is the right of the woman (and possibly her spouse) to use those unnatural interventions to determine what kind of child they will or will not have, again having the right to destroy the child if it is not to their liking. While all this is going on hundreds of thousands of children are abandoned, neglected, raised on the streets, in ill-conceived orphanages, or under-supervised foster homes.
While the government makes it easier for people to destroy viable children, and unnaturally create children, on taxpayer’s money, while making it progressively harder to place children in permanent, loving, and safe homes.
In the interest of disclosure I will advise my readers that I am currently pregnant, and while it took longer than expected for me to get pregnant, I have never had to deal with infertility. (I do have some physical difficulties that have always made pregnancy a question, and may make future pregnancies more difficult or even ill-advised) Now I fully believe in every couples right to have as many children as they wish, even believe in the duty of couples to raise children. I know a couple must feel immense shame, heartache, and even failure at the inability to conceive. I know this because, throughout history and in every culture, being barren has been the great social stigma. Being ‘civilized’ as we are in our post modern industrialized age can not change such a deeply ingrained biological necessity or our response to it. Of course infertile couples should always be given societies help and encouragement to adopt or otherwise rear/help rear non-biological children.
Over all, however, the percentage of the population that is infertile is minimal, and has never been enough to hinder the survival of the species. Now, however, our infertility rate is climbing quickly.
This climbing infertility rate is directly linked to two things. The first is the rising use of IVF and fertility drugs. Before IVF and fertility drugs women, or men, who were infertile could not pass on their genes to future generations. Now these women, through artificial and unnatural means, are not only passing on their genes but, since they are more likely to have multiple births (or donate unused embryos to other women) they are now more likely to leave a greater genetic footprint than a healthy woman.
Since fertility and infertility are strongly (although clearly not fully) genetic, the more babies born to mothers through fertility treatments or IVF, the more future mothers will have to rely upon them. And, only a single generation past the introduction of these unnatural means, the need for them, our percentage of infertile women, has already noticeably risen. Are we as a society prepared to breed ourselves to the point where we can only conceive and carry through artificial means? Are we willing to so condemn future generations just to assert the so called ‘rights’ of the infertile minority? How can it be anyone’s right to deny nature?
We live in a fallen world, where sin has corrupted the natural order. We know it is unnatural for women to not get pregnant, only the sin cursed world we live in makes possible such a painful disruption of the natural order. Given that we do live in this world, however, where death and disease corrupts and genetic defects wreck havoc, just because we can change something, can do something, doesn’t mean that such a thing is a responsible thing to do.
The joy of birth for a previously barren woman must be weighed against the long term consequences of such an act. Not only are ‘fertility’ births more likely to be multiple births which pass on detrimental genes, the act of IVF has been shown to increase the likelihood of birth defects, premature birth, c-sections (which increases the risk of death and serious injury to both mother and child) and life-long brain, neurological, and physical impairments.
Further more nearly all IVF treatments destroy embryos, both those deemed ‘unhealthy’ and under most circumstances those deemed ‘healthy’ as well. Therefore even if all other IVF issues were ignored, it should be despised and rejected as another form of wholesale slaughter of the unborn. Given the number of humans destroyed to produce one successful IVF baby, it would be appropriate for an IVF baby to be considered to have survived IVF, or born in spite of IVF, as opposed to having been born because of it.
For those who aren’t genetically infertile, IVF and fertility drugs can be used by woman who are close to or have passed the natural age of conception. Assuming that these women are not naturally infertile (which may or may not be true given the situation of each woman) IVF and fertility drugs still pose a detrimental effect upon both the woman, and upon society. Fertility drugs have a long list of devastating side effects for the woman, not to mention the general emotional strain upon such women when they don’t succeed, are extremely expensive, usually footed by insurance companies which means every insurer pays for it through rising health care costs, and are more likely to cause multiple births (which are frequently ‘selectively’ terminated by doctors and/or mothers who don’t want more than one or two live children), and have been shown to increase the risk of pregnancy, including premature birth (although what percentage of those increased risks can be directly related to the drugs and what percentage related to the woman needing those drugs to get pregnant to being with is impossible to accurately determine). As far as the societal damage such drugs and IVF treatments pose there is a reason woman are only fertile for so long. Humans are not physically mature (depending upon your definitions of physical maturity) until around 16 for women and 20 for men; they reach cultural maturity (depending upon the culture) between sexual maturity, perhaps as young as 12 for some females, to upwards of the early 20’s. So, depending upon culture, children will be dependant upon their parents, especially their mothers, for an average of 15 to 20 years. In America parents are responsible for 18 years.
A woman during her natural reproductive years should be capable of physically, economically, and mentally caring for her children until they are adults. A 40 to 45 year old women who conceives via IVF or fertility drugs will be (in America) 58 to 63 years old before her maternal obligations are fulfilled, and that assumes that they do not help their children through the college years or early adult years. If they help until 22 (4 years of college after high school) they will be 62 to 67 years old.
By the time the mother has given birth, she has already significantly declined from her physical prime in which she is meant to be responsible for an active, growing child. By the time that child has come of age the women will be nearing retirement age, the age of a grandmother, and, under many circumstances, incapable of responding to the physical, emotional, or monetary needs of a teenager or new adult. And, somewhat more important societally speaking, a child new to adulthood is not capable of taking care of an aging parent.
Historically and naturally speaking children should be taking care of their parents once their parents can no longer work. Our current rejection of the historical and natural order of things has led to our dependency on completely inappropriate and inadequate governmental programs such as social security and medicare/medicade. Having children unnaturally late, or having a reduced number of children than biologically natural, while does on occasion happen naturally, is a perfect set up for an economic collapse, which is exactly what has happening in most first world cultures. Which leads into my next point.
Many completely fertile women have been convinced to delay marriage and/or birth and to intentionally limit the number of their children. Not only is this based upon faulty information- the over population myth- but its detrimental to society.
The US Census expects that there will be only 2 workers for every retiree within less than 20 years. Not only that but advances in medicine is extending life, usually at quite the premium, so the balance between working years to retired years is becoming more unbalanced and the retired years are becoming more expensive.
It is economically impossible for the government to support such an unbalanced populace, and with so few children born so late few retirees have family to fall back upon. Governmental debt is the least of the problems associated with an aging and unbalanced population. The lack of workers is far more dangerous and the slow decline of the middle class into poverty is equally as bad.
As the percentage of workers slowly decreases and the population ages fewer people are available to work an increasing amount of jobs. Thus our workforce is becoming reliant upon illegal aliens and the outsourcing of jobs, making an increase in overall jobs actually correlate to a rise in unemployment, which we are already seeing the beginnings of today. Illegal aliens are cheaper labor than legal citizens, which drives the wages down, making it all the more difficult for legal citizens, who bear the burden of taxes and social welfare programs in addition to familial necessities, to find and hold ‘living wage’ jobs. Which, in and of itself, is a downward spiral, more unemployment and below living wage jobs equal (in our socialist tinged society) more welfare programs which must be funded by a higher tax burden to the working class, which in turn means the ‘living wage’ must go up to compensate, etc, etc, etc. But that downward spiral is for another post, back to topic…
Outsourcing jobs, however, has nearly the same outcome as illegal aliens. As companies find cheaper labor elsewhere they will move more and more jobs elsewhere, and/or lower the wages on domestic jobs to try to keep up with companies who do outsource. Both leave a native working population, which remember must be making more per person (adjusting for inflation) than previous generations to fund the care of the aging retirees, with less jobs available for lower wages.
This is not theoretical, already, as the early baby-boomers are aging past working age, a 2 income household is not only the norm (at around 70% of households with two working parents), but nearly a necessity. Right now, with most families barely maintaining a living wage income on 2 incomes, the working class is supporting a parent generation which averaged just over 2.5 children and a grandparent generation which averaged over 3 children per woman. But the current working class has fallen to between 1.9 (for native American citizens) and 2.3 (including first generation immigrants) children. Welfare programs are bankrupt with a working class of 2.5 reproductive rate caring for its elderly. Exactly what will happen when the working class of 1.9 reproductive rate is forced to care for an elderly population that will contain not only parents, but grandparents, and, for the first time, a significant amount of ‘great-grandparent’ aged people (over 80)?
Add to the economic strain of caring for an aged population to the increased economic strain of children without parental financial support for higher education, (right now most outsourced jobs are entry level but as fewer parents can afford to help their children through college more high-end jobs will be outsourced due to lack of education, and the government funding of college-level education has already become economically unfeasible and governmental grants are dwindling each year) plus the strain of IVF, fertility drugs, (which is usually covered by insurance and as previously stated, will only become more and more necessary with increased use) and expensive medical life-prolonging advances and we are looking at a true economic collapse. And I’m not referring to one of those ‘nice’ depressions like the Great Depression or the collapse felt in the Soviet Union after WWII; I’m referring to the total collapse of an economic system as in the downfall of the Roman Empire which plunged the then ‘known world’ into the Dark Ages. Add to the complete economic failure a cultural collapse, since, as a culture, we are well below replacement levels, and American civilization will be as much a part of history as the Roman civilization.
To further compound the issue this is not just an American problem, in fact we are 10-15 years behind most 1st world countries/cultures. Japan, England, China, France, Canada, Russia, in fact nearly every European and Eastern European (former Soviet Union) nation are all below replacement levels in reproduction and faced with not only a rapidly aging population but an even worse lack of workers than we are dealing with currently. Japan is estimated to be ‘missing’ over 1 million workers from its currently maturing population.
Any logical person with access to only a few basic statistics (for instance birth rate, aging rate, replacement level etc) can arrive at the same basic conclusion, that the vast majority of ‘power cultures’ and first world nations are committing cultural and economic suicide. Some people would find this to be very appealing (from Muslim nations- one of the only populations still noticeably above replacement levels for the record- to human hating ‘green’ activists), some have buried their heads in the sands, too terrified of what it means to acknowledge it, but most people have simply been overcome intellectually, brainwashed by the over-population myth pushers and the ‘well-meaning’ human rights activists who push for the infertile minority’s ‘right’ to have a biological child.
But for those who look logically at the issue, who recognize biological, cultural, and historical trends, what can be done? Unfortunately given both the massive scale of the problem and the massive brainwashing campaign of the other side I will admit, very little on a large scale. But something can be done on a small scale; do not be a replacement couple. Do not feed the problem by avoiding children, and, if you have difficulty conceiving, give a loving home to as many adopted children as possible. Do not depend upon the welfare system for your retirement plans, and certainly don’t leave your parents to it. A true fix would require a significant mind change in the majority of the population, not something likely to happen in time. But those who are still of childbearing age have the choice to at least attempt to secure our bloodlines, and future security, (and I do not use bloodlines as a racial or racist concept, purely as a term for blood relatives) because even in the face of a cultural and economic collapse some people will make it safely to the other side. Those won’t be the rich, whose money will be useless once overwhelming inflation kicks in, it will be those with the familial structure capable of supporting them.
Switching from a purely statistical/logical stance and getting into more personal concepts, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a Bible believing Christian. In End-Time prophecy the world powers are listed, and America is not among them. Those who believe the Bible know America will suffer a collapse of sufficient magnitude to drop us as a super-power with world-wide influence. Due to various conditions in other areas of the world, mostly to military might or political make up, some countries have a chance to realistically pull something out of their own socio-economic collapse (for instance the European Union becoming a true government, an empire of sorts, when the individual countries begin to collapse as the increased combined population and cultural structure would be able to forestall, if probably not avoid, a continent wide collapse for at least a few generations, or the ‘million man’ army of Chinese bachelors, since China’s population problems are combined with its significant lack of females, able to sweep the smaller and crumbling societies of Asia and/or Eastern Europe to forestall their own collapse.) America has no such net. Joining or annexing our neighbors (as other countries may be able to do) would only hasten our demise as Canada is further along the economic decline than us due to greater welfare social services and Mexico (which is also below replacement levels in most of its population) is far worse off economically than we are.
While there are certainly other scenarios brewing that could also explain the eventual collapse of America as a super-power, this is clearly a facet that can not be ignored. As a Christian I have no expectation that we will, as a nation, recovering from a below replacement level reproductive rate. Nor even, realistically, a wish for such a thing as the removal of the U.S. from among the super-powers would only be further evidence of the immediate nature of the End-Times.
I do, however, wish for those with their eyes open to survive in a firm, Biblical family unit until the Rapture, which, given a Biblical timeline will most likely be after said U.S. collapse. It is my wish to have as many children as the Lord gives to my husband and me, and to further fulfill my duty as a Christian parent by adopting more children to help balance out what is, biologically, a late start (I’m 25 and have been reproductively mature now for 10 years). I urge others to do the same. God gave us a command, in fact the very first command ‘fill the earth’. Given that all the people in the world could fit in Hawaii, any attempt to halt our population at this time would be in direct contradiction to His command to us. Now I’m not against birth control in general, a newly married couple may fell like God would have them wait for a time, or physical and/or medical reasons may make bearing biological children dangerous to either child or mother. (For instance I know one dedicated Christian couple who can not have biological children due to the risk of extreme birth defects because of medication she took when young) There are legitimate reasons for birth control (as long as we are actually talking about methods that PREVENT pregnancy and not just terminate early term pregnancy), but I believe many Christians are either ignoring God’s prodding to begin reproduction, or have placed mankind’s fallible ideas about over-population, financial security, and human ‘rights’ ahead of ‘be fruitful and multiply’. And for those who can not themselves, for whatever reason, have biological children they should strive for a large, stable family unit of adopted children. (Adoption is perfectly Biblical; in fact we are God’s adopted children)
We must balance our pity and sympathy for those who are barren with our duty to be fruitful, and we must accept God’s Will and Word to fill the earth over man’s attempts to destroy the human population.