Chuck Bentley: Are There Any Economic Consequences to New York’s Reproductive Health Act?

Dear Chuck,

The most recent New York abortion legislation is appalling; but besides being morally wrong, won’t a population decline hurt our economy? This seems like a bad direction for us all.

Concerned American

Dear Concerned,

Your concern is well placed. Yes, the long-term economic consequences of abortion are bad for everyone.

New York State’s Reproductive Health Act, which allows late-term abortions performed by “health-care practitioners” when the “patient is within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health” is a tragic legislative decision. Not only is it a moral disaster, but the collective consequences will also have far-reaching effects on our national economy. And it is coming at the worst possible time.

Falling Birthrates

Birth rates are falling around the world and not just because of abortion. Fertility rates around the world have been dropping and The World Bank and others are becoming acutely aware of the troubling trends. Birth rates in Asia, Europe, Russia and Latin America have been plummeting.

The “total fertility rate” (TFR) in the United States, the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime, dropped from 2.12 in 2007 to an estimated 1.76 in 2017. That is less than the replacement level of 2.1 and less than half of the 1960s number of 3.7. We are approaching the birth rate of the Chinese where they are currently experiencing a 60 year low in TFR. They are concerned too:

“China should not only fully relax the family planning policy, but also introduce policies to encourage births,” said demographer He Yafu. “Long-term low fertility rates will bring a series of negative effects on the economy and society, leading to the increasingly serious aging of the population, a decreasing labor force and a higher dependency ratio.”

Economic Consequences

My friend, Jerry Bowyer, wrote an article for Townhall Finance notes a similar concern:

A very low birth rate is economic death in the long run, but a country can run an economy without babies pretty well (not counting toy makers) for a while. Debt is a big long-term problem. Japan is brittle because of debt. Eventually there will likely be a reckoning, a horrible one, with a full-blown debt crisis and a nation filled with nursing homes unable to work its way out of it.

Jerry and other experts see the writing on the wall. Analysis from Thomas Lee, at reveals that America is expected to have a shortage of 8.2 million workers over the next decade.

With too few people adding to the GDP, who is going to fund pension plans, pay into Social Security, support the elderly population, or work in the healthcare industry? The diaper industry will be spared immediate pain by reducing the production of baby sizes and increasing production of adult sizes.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley

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