The Decline of Motherhood

I know this seems like an odd topic considering tomorrow is Mother’s Day, but in many places all over the world, mothers are disappearing and fast. Our world faces an uncertain future as more and more countries have death rates that out pace birth rates as more women choose not to become mothers or simply can’t become mothers. Today Margret Kopala has a very interesting piece in the Ottawa Citizen that addresses Canada’s declining birth rate. These are her first few paragraphs:

Hiking along the northern reaches of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast last week, my sister and I passed by the home of a woman recently taken by cancer. As dignified deaths go, it was exemplary. Predeceased by her husband, her care was assumed in turns by her four grown children. She died peacefully, surrounded by them and her beloved ocean views.

For the generation that’s brought Canada’s fertility rate to below replacement levels, such idylls can only become increasingly rare. With 1.5 children per couple, our best hope is a quiet death in a clean facility where the immigrant workers speak our language. And that’s only the human face of demographic decline. The economic face is hardly more appealing: unfilled labour markets, reduced GDP and no tax revenues to pay for health care — to name a few.

Canada isn’t the only country in this predicament. According to America Alone, Mark Steyn’s self-described and penetrating rant on “demography, Islam and civilizational exhaustion,” the developed world has gone from 30 per cent to 20 per cent of global population. Greece has 1.3 births per couple — the “lowest low” from which no society has ever recovered; Russia, where 60 per cent of pregnancies are terminated, has the fastest-growing rate of HIV in the world and, by 2050, 60 per cent of Italians will have no brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts or uncles. In the developed world, only the United States, with a 2.1 birth rate, is replacing itself.

How did it come to this? In Canada, one answer is infertility. This affects one in every 15 Canadian couples (in Britain one in six are affected), who spend some $30 million a year on in-vitro fertilization alone. Defined as failure to conceive after one year of trying, infertility can result from many factors affecting both males and females, but according to the government of Canada’s Biobasics website, the two biggest factors are delayed childbearing and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

When I read that last sentence the first thing I thought of was radical feminism. In the 60’s and 70’s, it was radical feminism that said women should focus only on their careers and forget kids. It was also radical feminism that lamented the fact men engaged in free sex with out any commitments while women were encouraged to be pure and chaste until marriage. So the feminists insisted that true equality meant women should engage in free sex too. And it was the feminists fought for abortion rights, so if a woman got pregnant she could just abort the baby and move on. Radical feminists declared that by eschewing marriage, children, and even monogamy, women would be more fulfilled and happy. What a big, fat lie. Instead of fulfillment, what has this agenda begotten?

Today, mothers giving birth average 29.5 years of age. Since women are born with a given number of eggs that decline in quality and quantity from the age of 30, it is no surprise that for the growing proportion of 30-plus women attempting pregnancy, it is much more difficult to conceive and carry a child.

Compounding the problem, earlier and increased sexual activity means a greater likelihood for contracting gonorrhea or chlamydia. In women, pelvic inflammatory disease and, in turn, blocked fallopian tubes or ectopic pregnancy may result. In men, sterility is possible. According to, rates of STD infection are up 60 per cent since 1997, with girls between the ages of 15 and 19 incurring the highest rates. In 2003, 20,000 new cases of chlamydia were reported in Canada.

Of course, radical feminism isn’t only to blame.The sexualization of little girls is also to blame. Everywhere we turn, girls are encouraged through movies, music, television, magazines, clothing companies, and even toy companies to be and act sexy. As a result, promiscuity is rampant; therefore, STDs are rampant. All these industries who make money off the sexualization of little girls are essentially one of the causes for the decline of human procreation.

As Margret noted earlier in her piece, of all the developed world, the United States is the only country replacing itself. And I am pleased to say I am one of the many Americans who are helping in this effort: my husband and I are expecting our third child in late November. So I proudly accept the moniker of eco-criminal.

Update: Donald Sensing has a lot more information on the West’s trend toward demographic extinction.

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