After listening to Democratic presidential candidates talking so strongly about their plans for unrestricted abortion and even population control, I was curious to look up the actual numbers of births that are occurring each year in our country.

The government (cdc.gov) tracks the total fertility rate for the U.S. each year. In 2018, the rate fell to its lowest ever. The average woman of child-bearing age will have only 1.7 children in her lifetime. This is well below the replacement rate of 2.1 that is needed to keep a population at a steady value.

This fertility rate, which has been below replacement level for a decade, is the result of the widespread use of contraception and, in so many cases, abortion. It has irreversibly shaped our culture, our families and our societal values. If even fewer babies are to be born, as some candidates propose, what will become of our country?

In the face of these challenges, we need to support and promote loving family life. Encourage young people to get married and be open to children. It's true that being a parent is hard work, but it's likely the best and most life-changing work one will ever do. Be kind to families that have children. Thank them for all they do for their children.

Each new child, who is infinitely valuable and completely irreplaceable, helps to make up the next generation, the future of our country. Can we really believe that reducing the numbers of births will provide solutions for our country? Have we really benefited from a culture that so strongly emphasizes and even celebrates abortion and contraception?

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Anna Enright

Hutchinson