Elective Genocide Print
By Brad Miner   
Monday, 24 February 2014

It’s neither light nor pleasant reading, but last week I pored over Summary of Vital Statistics 2012: The City of New York Pregnancy Outcomes.

There’s some apparently good news in the report, as for instance: “Since 2003, the teen birth rate continued its steady decline”; or that induced abortions also declined – to 73,815. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene doesn’t speculate about reasons for these declines, no more than it decries other data that ought to horrify any moral person.

The Centers for Disease Control tracks birth and fertility rates over the years, and CDC’s national data suggest there’s no surprise in New York’s falling birth rates, as we can see in the chart below: 

Birth and fertility in the U.S., preliminary 2012; provisional for year ending June 2013

But to get to the really bad stuff: More than one-third (35 percent) of all pregnancies in the Big Apple end in abortion. Such a number is, to many of us, simply horrific. But it’s not the most disturbing datum.

Among African-Americans (termed by NYC as “non-Hispanic blacks”), who constitute a quarter of the city’s population (this includes all five boroughs), there are 1¼ abortions for every live birth. Put another way: although African-Americans are 25 percent of the city’s population, they have 42 percent of the abortions performed in New York.

Since these numbers are not the consequence of a Chinese-style program of forced abortion, it seems indisputably a case of elective genocide.

Drilling down a bit: According to the report, 59,522 black women became pregnant in New York City in 2012. The results of those pregnancies were: 31,328 “induced terminations” (i.e. abortions); 24,758 live births; and 3,446 “spontaneous terminations.”

Although not in the NYC health department’s data (though it should be), of those nearly 25,000 black babies who survived un-aborted, the number born to unwed mothers approaches 80%. When Daniel Patrick Moynihan first sounded the alarm (1965) about rising illegitimacy rates in the black community, that rate was at 25 percent. As Doug Patton has written:

That is higher than the rate during the years when parts of America still practiced slavery. . . .In 1850, when black men, women, and children in several of the states could be ripped from their loved ones and sold as property, a higher percentage of their children were being born and raised in marriage-based, two parent families than there are a century and half later. . .

You’ll get no handwringing or caterwauling from me about the “destruction of the black family,” although what New York’s “civil-rights leaders” are doing to focus on this demographic nightmare is not apparent. My respect for people is too great to fall back on nostrums that, for half a century, have anyway proved themselves ineffective in the extreme – and that deny that the people in question have abilities to apply reason to problems, may accept responsibility for mistakes, and must themselves undertake paths to reform.

I’ll also decline to assign blame for New York’s decades-long descent into demographic chaos on its liberal politics (which includes the mayoralties of Republican Giuliani and independent Bloomberg). African-American neighborhoods in the Bronx, especially, have enjoyed fifty years of self-governance, yet during that time things have grown progressively worse for the poorest of the poor, which is especially stunning given that in Queens, black household income exceeds that of whites’.

How long can a society – or a community – sustain such a pattern? That’s hard to say. In the meantime – as we discover the answer – the usual, failed policy initiatives are refashioned as innovative and hopeful. As Kay S. Hymowitz recently wrote, many insist the answer is more government support, pointing out that “poverty rates for single-parent households are lower in most other advanced economies, where the welfare state is more generous.” There is truth in that. But as Ms. Hymowitz writes, America is not Sweden:

Simply put, unmarried parents here are more likely to enter into parenthood in ways guaranteed to create turmoil in their children’s lives. The typical American single mother is younger than her counterpart in other developed nations. She is also more likely to live in a community where single motherhood is the norm. . .

The worry is that even government programs designed to encourage marriage will fail, in large measure because they reduce marriage to an argument of sorts about economic stability. Marriage as a utilitarian tactic, not a spiritual union.

The Marriage at Cana by Tintoretto (1561)

            Even at the website devoted to Catholic marriage, www.ForYourMarriage.org, which is an “initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” David Popenoe of the National Marriage Project includes on his list of ten research findings on marriage that matrimony “helps people to generate income and wealth.” Perhaps that’s a useful argument in some cases. One suspects, however, that visitors to For Your Marriage are there to get either marriage counseling advice or information about their upcoming nuptials.
            And what is really needed to solve the fornication, abortion, cohabitation, and single-parent crisis is an understanding of marriage as a sacrament. And, thank heavens, For Your Marriage does that well. On a page about sexuality in marriage and in the context of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body:
The pope begins with the idea that each human being is willed for his or her own sake. Out of love God created human beings as male and female, persons of dignity and worthy of respect. Also out of love, God established marriage as the first communion of persons.
Good luck getting New York’s political class to embrace this, the most realistic solution to its serial sexual crises.
Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and a board member of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is the author of six books and is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His book, The Compleat Gentleman, read by Christopher Lane, is available on audio.
The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.


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