The Population Bomb was one of only two gifts I gave my dad that he refused to accept. The year was 1968, and I was shopping for a Christmas gift. He was an avid reader, and I was searching for a book that sounded interesting. I settled on a runaway bestseller, The Population Bomb, by Paul Ehrlich. Everyone seemed to be talking about it.
The theme of this alarming publication was that there were far too many people in the world, and the problem was getting worse by the second. Ehrlich projected global disaster by 1975, involving worldwide disease and human beings overrunning the earth like rats in a subway. He warned his readers that a billion people could starve to death in the 1980s. The only thing that might save us, Ehrlich said, was immediate population control to prevent what he referred to as “a dying planet.”
I made the mistake of not reading the book before I gave it to my dad. I proudly wrapped it in festive paper and put it under the “tree” to be opened on Christmas morning. When my father tore the paper off the package, his countenance fell. He thumbed through the pages for a few seconds and then rudely handed the book back to me.
“I won’t accept this,” he said.
He didn’t explain his irritation, but clearly I had struck a nerve. Now I know that he was deeply concerned at that time about the approaching support for legalized abortion on demand. The Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court was handed down five years later, and my father had seen it coming. When he talked about the prospect of killing countless babies in the ’60s and ’70s, big tears filled his eyes and ran down his cheeks.
“Population control” for my dad, and now for me, meant the murder of unborn babies—nearly 60 million to date—along with the horrors of infanticide and euthanasia. It also meant governmental policies to limit procreation, such as China’s “one child per family” decree. As a result, millions of baby girls in China were left to die in ditches or dumps or were drowned in stagnant waters. Others starved to death, beyond compassion or care. The policy also imposed forced abortion on vulnerable women.
There have been other tragic consequences of population control. One of them was the development of Planned Parenthood, an organization that has murdered babies for decades. More recently, its executives have begun selling body parts for profit, including “harvested” brains, hearts, and other organs of young victims. Some of them were still alive while being cut to pieces in a procedure called D & E, or dilation and evacuation.
When the American people learned of this outrage, they gasped. Then they yawned. Under the leadership of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, they led their colleagues to continue granting $500 million per year to Planned Parenthood. President Obama signed their bill into law. The status quo continues.
Forty-seven years have come and gone since Paul Ehrlich made his case for population control. What has been the consequence? Americans are starting to realize, perhaps for the first time, that we are facing a demographic nightmare. Our problem is not too many people but a plummeting birthrate. There are more single women today than those who are married, and the birthrate has been declining steadily. If it were not for immigration, this nation would be below zero population growth.