“According to a recent CBO report, the principal driver of slow growth since 2008 has been a sharp slowdown in the growth of the labor supply,” writes William Galston in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal about our nation’s labor shortage.
Mr. Galston once worked in the Clinton administration before joining the Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, he worked for the Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and John B. Anderson presidential campaigns, all of whom embraced and promoted abortion rights.
Mr. Galston continues:
“The distant future looks no brighter. The total fertility rate needed to maintain a stable population is about 2.1 children for every woman. In 2020 the U.S. rate dropped to 1.64, the latest in a long decline. The workforce of the 2030s and 2040s could be smaller than today’s, a prospect that other advanced economies are also facing, including China.”
Labor shortage causes
Why does the United States have a labor shortage? There are several reasons, according to demographers, economists, and politicians, but abortion is never considered as a viable reason.
Iowans for LIFE has written on how this trend affects Iowa directly. Now the trend is increasingly receiving national attention.
For example, Gretchen Livingston, writing for Pew Research, explains what she sees as the primary drivers for declining birth rates:
“Fertility – however it is defined – is influenced by a variety of demographic, social and economic factors. Among the more important contributors to fertility levels are the age composition of childbearing women (most births occur between ages 20 and 34); the share of childbearing-age women who are married (married women are more likely to give birth than unmarried women); the economic climate; and the share of childbearing age among women who are born in another country (foreign-born women have higher birthrates than U.S.-born women).”
Each is a viable contributing factor for declining fertility. But don’t you think that 62 million abortions since the Roe v Wade decision might have affected fertility rates in our country, not to mention the size of our labor force today?
Fertility rates have dropped since Roe v Wade
In 1973, the year of the Roe decision, our nation’s fertility rate was 2.029 births per woman; the number dropped to 1.779 last year. The replacement birth rate is 2.1 live births per woman.
Human abortion is certainly one factor in the decline of human capital in the U.S. How could it not be?
Pro-lifers view human abortion through the prism of human rights. We accept the revelations of science that humanity begins at the instant of fertilization, and that these unique lives are entitled to the legal protections of the 14th Amendment.
Whatever your views on abortion rights, at the very least we can agree that in light of a growing labor shortage, it is a prescription for economic decline.