Pro-lifers may be on the defensive in the courtroom, but they are winning the battle of the cradle. The first person to point this out to me was Father Paul Marx, a family sociologist by training.
Father had noticed in his travels around the United States that pro-lifers had larger families than the American average. I had observed the same thing. Pro-life events attracted families with four, six, or even eight children. It only made sense, we agreed, that those who respect the sanctity of unborn life would average more children than those who do not. For one thing, their children are at far less risk of being aborted than are the children of pro-aborts.
It was left to crack HLI researcher Brian Clowes to clothe these impressions with statistics. Dr. Clowes concluded from the sketchy survey data then available that there were significant, even striking differences in fertility between the two groups. While those who professed pro-life sentiments far exceeded the American average of two children, those who supported legal abortion fell far short of this figure. Specifically, he found that pro-lifers averaged three children, while pro-aborts averaged one. This is to say, pro-lifers were out-reproducing pro-aborts by a margin of three to one.
At the time, in the mid-nineties, the polls showed that Americans were more or less evenly divided on the abortion question. But if we were right, the poll numbers would inexorably shift in a pro-life direction as time passed. Demography is destiny, after all. If the pro-lifers were having three times as many children as the pro-aborts, then the ranks of the pro-lifers would swell while the ranks of the pro-aborts thinned. The pro-abortion movement would have signed its own death warrant.
Pro-lifers, on the other hand, would be busy signing birth certificates.
After a generation, the country would be overwhelmingly pro-life.
The mind is drawn toward pleasant prospects, but is there any hard evidence of such a demographic shift? I am happy to report that there is:
A new Gallup poll of teenagers, reported on November 24, 2003 by WorldNetDaily.com, found that 72 percent of those queried believe abortion is morally wrong.
The survey of youth, aged 13 to 17, indicated just 19 percent believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, compared to 26 percent for adults.
About 47 percent of teens said it should be legal under some circumstances, while 55 percent of adults agreed. Most strikingly, about 32 percent of teens thought abortion should never be permitted, while only 17 percent of adults said the same.
Religious conviction played a part in these views. Only 12 percent of churchgoing youth thought that abortion is morally acceptable, compared with about 38 percent of non-churchgoing youth. About 40 percent of churchgoing teens believe abortion should be illegal under any circumstance, compared to 26 percent for non-churchgoers.
The Gallup Youth Survey was done through a scientific methodology via the Internet to ensure a representative sample of the U.S. population. The questionnaire was completed by 517 youths.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press that “We're winning the struggle for hearts and minds. The young people are more conservative than their parents.”
But I believe it would be accurate to say that we are winning the battle of the cradle. The young people surveyed are, by and large, the sons and daughters of parents of pro-life sentiments. Like begets like, only in greater number.
The battle is not over yet, however.
The pro-aborts are not going quietly into demographic oblivion. (Do they ever do anything quietly?) While they have largely stopped reproducing themselves biologically, they are continuing to replicate themselves culturally. What do I mean? I mean that the Culture of Death controls MTV and passes its anti-people and anti-baby attitudes along to unsuspecting young viewers. It controls elite institutions of higher education. Tenured abortion radicals are zealous in making new recruits to their anti-life views.
This means that it is not enough to simply welcome more children into the world. People of pro-life sentiments must ensure that their own children and as many other young people as they can reach are properly taught the Culture of Life values that they are the product of. They will find their pro-life views under assault as they go on to college, and must be taught to defend them.
If this is done, then this country will move sharply in a pro-life direction over the next decade. And the stage will be set to outlaw not merely partial-birth abortions, but all abortions.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.