Generation Zero: Why the World Is Running Out of Babies

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Generation Zero: Why the World Is Running Out of Babies
Generation Zero: Why the World Is Running Out of Babies

Past generations have been named with letters such as X-Generation and Gen-Z. The latest generation has already been labeled Alpha. Perhaps the one after that should take the name Generation Zero.

The reason will be the lack of babies to make a generation. A demographic winter approaches. Birth control and abortion have achieved the goal of ridding society of unwanted pregnancies as societal attitudes have taken away the desire for pregnancies.

The word is now out. Overpopulation is not a threat. Underpopulation, reflected in declining global birthrates, has reached a critical point, signaling a demographic crisis.

Fertility rates are plummeting worldwide, posing significant religious, economic, social and geopolitical challenges. This “baby bust” phenomenon primarily impacts every segment of society, regardless of income, education or employment status.

The implications are profound, affecting lifestyle choices, economic projections and the global balance of power. Many nations have already plummeted far below the replacement fertility rate of 2.2 children per woman.

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Projections forecast a global population decline within the next four decades, a rare historical event. Political leaders recognize this as a pressing issue with implications for social vitality and long-term sustainability.

Even India and Third World nations that normally have high birth rates are experiencing a significant population decline. Urbanization and the internet have exposed women to the possibility of having fewer or no children and enjoying greater pleasure.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the percentage of women using contraception increased from 17 to 23 percent in the last ten years. This shift can be attributed to African leaders promoting contraception and abortion and the Western programs promoting these practices.

Many associate this decline in birth rates with an unhealthy shift towards selfishness and individualism, resulting in a reduced emphasis on marriage, family and parenthood. Other factors include state laws, unemployment rates, Medicaid availability, housing costs, contraceptive usage, child-care costs and student debt.

However, none of these factors address the root cause. Observers speculate that the root is found deep inside the human soul. This shift is, above all, the result of a moral crisis in which all priorities are scrambled and a sense of direction and purpose is lost.

Thus, adult personal preferences now prioritize building careers, leisure activities and relationships outside the home. The fundamental mandate to “Go forth and multiply” is replaced by selfish considerations.

Governments worldwide are grappling with declining fertility rates by implementing pro-natalist policies. Japan has implemented incentives for births since the early nineties, including parental leave and subsidized child care. However, birth rates continue to fall.

Japan later introduced free hospital maternity care and birth stipends that temporarily raised fertility rates from 1.26 to 1.45 over a period of years. However, the rates continue to decline, reaching 1.26 in 2022. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently unveiled a program offering monthly allowances to all children under 18, free college for families with three or more children and paid parental leave to encourage more births.

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The problem with all these efforts is that they try to apply financial solutions to moral issues. Families will not have children solely based on monetary incentives.

Thus, financial incentives will always fall short since couples must be motivated by the love of God to make the necessary sacrifice of having children. Free daycare, maternity leave and monthly allowances are helpful but do not address the root cause, which is selfishness.

A direct correlation exists between the loss of religious values and declining birth rates. The decline of religion leads to fewer marriages, which have a primary end of procreation, not pleasure. In the Catholic Church, marriage is a sacrament that provides couples with the graces to sustain themselves and their families.

The crisis inside the Catholic Church contributes to this decline since many liberal clergymen have turned a blind eye to contraception, abortion and moral virtue to concentrate on “social justice” issues.

Due to the neglect of traditional Church teaching, a significant number of Catholics are divorced, “re-married,” practice contraception, favor same-sex “marriage,” cease going to Mass, do not believe in the Real Presence in Holy Communion or have abandoned their faith altogether. This is the perfect storm that will produce Generation Zero.

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