“The newspapers called it a jailbreak plan, but I know it was suicide. I know it was suicide.”Johnny Cash, at Folsom Prison, California, 1968-01-13.
If murder were a drug, it would be heroin: Something extreme; something recognized as evil; something inherently repulsive to civilized society.
If contraception were a drug, it would be cigarettes: Common; easily available; socially acceptable. And yet, by far the larger killer.
Heroin may get all the attention, but cigarettes have taken far more lives. Murderers hog the spotlight, but those who use contraception and practice abortion are far more responsible for preventing specific, unique people from living out their lives. A world without contraception and abortion would be far more populated–relative to our current reality–than a world without murder.
On the topic of heroin, it is worth noting that the current loss of human life due to birth control and abortion has important parallels with another catastrophe taking place in the Western World: the opioid epidemic. Let us examine these similarities, using data from the United States:
1A. Sudden Rise In Incidence – Opioid Deaths:
We can monitor the opioid epidemic by tracking the increase in drug overdose deaths (lives ended by drugs). Similarly, we can monitor the contraception-and-abortion epidemic by tracking the decrease in birth rates (lives prevented by drugs and procedures). When charted, these metrics show sudden jumps. Starting with the opioid epidemic, we can see the epidemic has gone through three stages, each more severe than the last:
- Source, Overdose Deaths, Years 1979-1998: Hawre Jalal, Jeanine M. Buchanich, Mark S. Roberts, Lauren C. Balmert, Kun Zhang, Donald S. Burke, et al. “Changing Dynamics of the Drug Overdose Epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016.” Science. 2018: Volume 361; Issue 6,408. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6408/eaau1184. Accessed 2019-05-22.
- Source, Overdose Deaths, Years 1999-2015: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). “Age-Adjusted Drug Overdose Death Rates, by Sex: United States, 1999–2015.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017: Data Brief #273.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db273_table.pdf#1. Accessed 2019-05-22.
- Source, Overdose Deaths, Years 2016-2017:
Lawrence Scholl, Puja Seth, Mbabazi Kariisa, Nana Wilson, Grant Baldwin. “Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017”. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019: Volume 67, Issue 5,152; Pages 1,419-1,427. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm675152e1.htm. Accessed 2019-05-28.
1B. Sudden Drop In Incidence – Live Births:
Just as the American opioid epidemic can be charted by counting excess deaths, the American contraception and abortion epidemic can be charted by counting missing births. As we’ve charted the drug overdose death rate over time and have labeled it with major milestones in opioid history, let us similarly chart the birth rate over time and label it with major milestones in contraception and abortion history. Before doing so, three notes:
A Note on Metrics of Fertility: There are multiple ways to quantify fertility, and although all such measures behave directionally similarly under most circumstances (i.e. such metrics tend to rise and decline in relative unison), there are subtleties worth noting:
The metrics described above are far from exhaustive; dozens of other measurements can be used to study fertility rate. This resource is not a textbook on population dynamics or statistical modeling; look elsewhere if you seek more detail. Ultimately, no metric is perfect, and the more useful a metric is, the more challenging it is to calculate. Capricious universe, isn’t it?
A Note on Data Sources: High-quality data on American fertility rates is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Centers for Health Statistics (NCHS), but the oldest data available from these sources is for 1909–in other words, less than half the history of the United States is covered. United States census data covers nearly all of American history, but lacks data on population structure for the earliest periods. In order to model fertility rates back to 1800 (about 25 years after the founding of the United States), a wide variety of government and academic sources were used.
A Note On Methodology: In estimating fertility rates for the years 1800 to 1908, certain assumptions were necessary (for example, assumptions about the relationships between different fertility metrics). All such assumptions and complete calculations are provided in Excel format for download and inspection. A particularly interesting aspect of this methodology is that, in computing fertility statistics from census data, it was necessary to apply adjustments to the census counts of Slave states during the era of slavery, in order to compensate for those states having counted African-Americans as only “three-fifths of a person”. Add this to the list of reasons why slavery is bad: it complicates statistical analysis.
Charted from 1800 to 2019, this is the QQQ:
- Source, Raw Birth Counts, General Fertility Rate [GFR], and Crude Birth Rate [CBR], Years 1909-2015: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). “Births and General Fertility Rates: United States.” Natality Trends in the United States. 2018. https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/NCHS-Births-and-General-Fertility-Rates-United-Sta/e6fc-ccez. Accessed 2019-06-04.
- Source, Total Fertility Rate [TFR] and Other Metrics, Years 2017-2018: Brady E. Hamilton, Joyce A. Martin, Michelle J.K. Osterman, Lauren M. Rossen, et al. “Birth – Provisional Data for 2018.” Vital Statistics Rapid Release. 2019: May, Monthly Report #007. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr-007-508.pdf. Accessed 2019-06-04.
- Source, Provisional Estimates of Total Fertility Rate [TFR], Year 2019: World Population Review. “Fertility Rate by Country, 2019”. http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/total-fertility-rate/. Accessed 2019-06-05.
- Source, Birthrates, Child-to-Woman Ratios, and Population Statistics, Years 1800-1910: Michael Haines. “Fertility and Mortality in the United States”. Association of Economic History, Colgate University. https://eh.net/encyclopedia/fertility-and-mortality-in-the-united-states/. Accessed 2019-06-02.
- Source, International (Non-US-Based) Studies of American Total Fertility Rate [TFR], Years 1960-2017: The World Bank. “Fertility Rate, Total, Births per Woman”. World Population Prospects: 2017 Edition. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN?locations=US. Accessed 2019-06-04.
- Source, Guidance Regarding Demographic Modeling: Jay Weinstein, Vijayan K. Pillai. “Demography: The Science of Population, Second Edition.” London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, October 2015.
- Source, Age Ratios & Children-To-Women Ratios, Years 1800-1970:
U.S. Bureau of the Census. “Census Results, Series 67-68 for 1800-1970”. Washington, D.C.: United States Federal Government Publishing Office (GPO), 1975.
- Source, Historical American Population Trends:
Klein, Herbert. “A Population History of the United States.” New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Source, Analysis of the America Post-Great Patriotic War “Baby Boom”: United States Bureau of the Census. “Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1986.” Washington, DC: Government Publishing Office (GPO), 1985.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2001 (Washington, DC: G.P.O, 2001). National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports
- Census 2000 Summary File 1: National File (May, 2003).
- Ansley J. Coale and Melvin Zelnik, New Estimates of Fertility and Population in the United States (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1963).
- Ansley J. Coale and Norfleet W. Rives, “A Statistical Reconstruction of the Black Population of the United States, 1880-1970: Estimates of True Numbers by Age and Sex, Birth Rates, and Total Fertility,” Population Index 39, no. 1 (Jan., 1973): 3-36.
- Michael R. Haines, “Estimated Life Tables for the United States, 1850-1900,” Historical Methods, 31, no. 4 (Fall 1998): 149-169.
[Three categories of groups: national; ethnic/racial; religious; education level]
[Three categories of seriousness: no genocide (<1/3 of population lost); genocide not trending towards total decline (>= 1/3 of population lost, but birth rate still above replacement); genocide which if unchecked will lead to extinction (>1/3 of population lost AND/OR birthrates below replacement).]
CALCULATE: Estimated date(s) of extinction. Lost group members. We can express lost group members as “multiples of Holocausts” (ex. one million missing people is roughly 0.18 holocausts)
Charts: countries undergoing a genocide; racial/ethnic groups undergoing a genocide. Below-replacement fertility. Maps.
Similarity to the opiate crisis. Black folk stand strong(er).