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Socio-Economic Costs



Only a handful of Australian social commentators have the courage to write about abortion. With fewer still who are willing to discuss its impact on our societal and economic health. Many have found themselves reprimanded or marginalised for doing so, especially by peers and employers. Yet in his brilliant analysis: Abortion and Australia’s socio-economic health, Richard Grant goes to the core of what is occurring in Australia as a result of our failure to protect the unborn. His findings both startling and alarming.

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The following selection is part of the longer version:

Abortion and Australia’s socio-economic health

By Richard Grant Read full paper >>

National Observer - Australia and World Affairs, Summer, 2005, Richard Grant


This article examines some of the main ways in which the high incidence of abortion is harming the social and economic wellbeing of our nation. A central issue discussed is the extent to which abortion has contributed to the progressive decline in Australia's fertility rate, a decline which is already having serious ramifications for the future because it is now a critical factor in the rapid increase in the average age of our population.

The harmful effects of declining fertility on Western societies are only now beginning to be better understood. A leading American social analyst, Robert de Marcellus, has claimed that collapsing fertility will unquestionably be the determining factor in almost all important economic and social developments for the remainder of this century. He said that civilization has not experienced such a quiet, insidious undermining since the disintegration of the Roman Empire.


Overpopulation Fears Receding


The grave consequences of falling fertility have, in part, escaped public attention in view of the great concern during the past decades about "overpopulation". The reason for extraordinary world population growth during these years has been little understood: clean water and disease eradication greatly extended life spans and dramatically increased the number of generations alive at one time, a phenomenon that has largely run its course. [2]


As the American economist, Nicholas Eberstadt, pointed out the population of undeveloped countries mushroomed "not because they were breeding like rabbits but because they stopped dying like flies". Global life expectancy at the start of the century, at birth, was about thirty years; by the early 1990's it had risen to sixty four years, more than doubling in only nine decades. [3]

Australian Fertility Trends — Abortion a Major Influence

… From 1971, the fertility rate dropped steadily, falling to 1.73 in 2001 with abortion being clearly the major determining factor in this fall. It is conservatively estimated that, on average, around 90,000 abortions have been performed annually in Australia since the early seventies. This means that nearly three million abortions have occurred in Australia since that time, each one representing a loss to our fertility level.


If Australia's fertility rate of 2.95 in 1971 had been maintained till the present day (and assuming no change to migration or life expectancy), Australia's present population would now be approximately four million higher than it is. [9]Abortion, therefore, accounts for approximately three quarters of the loss to our population caused by the decline in our nation's fertility since 1971 and is the major contributor to the escalating ageing crisis facing this country.  


Looked at in another way, given that there were about 250, 000 live births and 100, 000 abortion deaths in 2002, Australia's fertility rate that year would have been 40 per cent higher had the children killed by abortion been born. This percentage is in line with a cross national study of several European countries, which found that total fertility rates would have been from 20 per cent to 90 per cent higher had induced abortion not been available. [10]  Significantly, Australia's fertility rate in 2002 would have been about 2.45, or well above the replacement level of 2.1, had no abortion deaths occurred that year.


Australia's fertility rate stood at 1.75 in 2002, which is above the fertility rate of 1.57 for Europe as a whole but below the U.S. rate of 1.99. [11]   Historically, our rate of 1.75 is near an all-time low and the longer term trend is in a downward direction. … 



Other Socio-Economic Consequences of Abortion  


Apart from its effects on our fertility rate, Australia's dearth of births is also harming our nation's economic development in other significant ways. The loss to our population of the three million unborn Australians killed by abortion over the last 35 years represents a massive loss to our nation's present productive capacity and hence to the level of our Gross Domestic Product. Further, the additional domestic demand for consumables, which these aborted Australians would have generated, would have been of enormous benefit to our local industries, many of which have struggled to survive and have even gone under.

Professor Max Corden, a member of the Productivity Commission, recently argued that a larger economy, stimulated by higher population growth, allows for utilisation of economics of scale in goods and services not traded internationally. For this reason, he maintains that Australia's interests would be best served if there were a doubling of our population over the next few decades.


Every working day in Australia approximately three hundred unborn Australians are aborted. This represents the size of an average primary school, for example. Clearly a large impetus would be given to the building industry and its suppliers through the hundreds of additional schools needing to be built nationally following a sustained surge in fertility resulting from a ban on abortion. Clearly there would also be a large increase in demand for teachers generated by the hundreds of thousands of additional children enrolled at our schools — not to mention the additional demand for school books, uniforms and a myriad of other goods and services.


Perversely, a leading Australian teachers’ union has adopted a platform of abortion on demand. This union seems intent on eliminating the young who are their future students. For if our nation's fertility rate continues to slide, there will be many empty schools in future decades. In Japan, which in 2002 had a fertility rate of 1.32, over 2000 public schools have closed down over the last decade. It is not surprising that Japan is beginning to move towards the creation of a family friendly society that supports the choices and efforts of people who wish to have children. [28]


Finally, there is increasing evidence that abortion is linked to an increased incidence of social and health disorders, such as marriage breakdown, child abuse, mental and physical illness, drug abuse, breast cancer and suicide. The consequent cost to Australia is very considerable.


The stark reality is that the act of killing an unborn Australian child is now one of our nation's most commonly performed medical procedures. Our failure to protect the unborn is exacting a high price, and the longer we wait the higher the financial and social bill will be for us, our children and our grandchildren.



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National Observer - Australia and World Affairs, Summer, 2005, Richard Grant




1. Col. Robert De Marcellus, "Falling Fertility — The World at the Tipping Point", Population Research Institute Review, Vol. 13, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2003, page 6.
2. S. Jay Olshansky, Statement to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, 18 Feb. 2001, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2001, page 20A.
3. Nicholas Eberstadt, Population, Food and Income: Global Trends in the 20th Century, Washington D.C., Competitive Enterprise Institute, Aug. 1994, page 10. …
9. D.J. Forster, Unpublished Projections, Melbourne, May 2004.
10. Tomas Frejka, "Induced Abortion and Fertility," Family Planning Perspectives 17, Sept.-Oct., 1985, pages 230-234.
11. Col. Robert De Marcellus, "Falling Fertility — The World at the Tipping Point", Population Research Institute Review, Vol. 13, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2003, page 6.
27. Max Corden, "40 Million Aussies? The Immigration Debate Revisited", News Weekly, 29 November 2003, page 12.
28. T. Ohkoshi, Asia Pacific Perspectives, Jan. 2004, Vol. 1, No. 9.
National Observer No. 63 - Summer 2005


See also: 




"Sub-replacement fertility rates are now spreading to every corner of the globe. Fertility in every developed country is now beneath 'replacement rate' of 2.1 children per woman."  Phillip Longman, Author of The Empty Cradle


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