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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Planned Parenthood in Korea: pushing for more babies?

A very odd member of the Planned Parenthood family is advocating for families to have more babies. MercatorNet asks if this is one way for abortion to disappear. Maybe. But the interesting question for me is if, by this particular story, abortion and population control advocates are going in the right direction? I'm not so sure.

 But looking back, we recognise that the direction of policy had to be changed when the TFR reached 2.1. In fact, the change was not realised until 20 years later in the early 2000s. We can say that the one-child policy met the needs of its time but it did not change at the proper time.

The reasons for low fertility rate are late marriage, an unfavourable social environment for women to do "work and home" at the same time, too much money needed to raise children, and so on.

My understanding of the explanation from PPK (Planned Parenthood Korea) is that this is still a calculated move for an optimal population. The bottom line is still the system, not the person.

And the implications of the last sentence I quote above may not be sufficiently appreciated by PPK. Given that the low rates are based on attitudes about careers, marriage and children, on what grounds can PPK convince women to have more babies? Probably not by population targets, nor economics, nor even patriotism. Governments can throw in material or financial incentives all they want, but I doubt that they would persuade a woman who is convinced that motherhood is of second-rate value and fulfillment. As any parent knows, it isn't just the money. It's the effort, heartaches and pains involved in raising up a child that can put one off. What can offset those? I think only love can. Not that I'm brimming with it -- certainly not. But I do remember both my mother and father.

What was it that Mark Shea pointed out in one of his excellent podcasts? That God delighted to create Man. There are still parents around who are blessed with a similar (albeit imperfect) sense of this delight in parenthood. How do you bring that back after postmodern western society has been slandering the concept of marriage and parenthood for the past 40 years? Now that would be an interesting problem to form strategies about. But the Catholic Church has been largely unheard when they've been shouting the answer for years now: stronger marriages. Seems like Christ was on to something after all when he went so far as to reiterate the beginnings of marriage and giving it his stamp of sanctification.

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