Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Ethical issues or social dilemmas?

Newark 25.06.2018 Jpic-jp.org Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

Abortion, birth control, use of contraception, "demographic winter", individual freedom and the common good: are these ethical issues that emanate from natural moral or social problems that the state must resolve?

A few years ago in the United States pro-life activists outside abortion clinics were shooting, and willing to kill, abortion doctors. An ethical absurdity: wanting to defend life and willing to kill. The ethical sense was, and it is, silenced by an agonizing social problem: a society without children has no future. Deaths outnumber births in Spain, fewer and fewer children, and the day will come when none is born. Our societies have less and less future. The "demographic winter" will have a high cost in the pension system, since there will be a smaller active population and a sterile society condemns itself to death. Those US activists defended themselves by saying: "It is a war of self-defense, of survival. Who kills our unborn children, kills our future, and kills our guarantee of life as a society."

However, can the rights of the community predominate over the individual decisional freedom, over the right of a couple or a woman’s self-determination? This is a contested principle, however assumed as valid in the face of the democratic explosion fear. Countries like China and India responded by birth control whereas the United States - and the United Nations - promoted abortion, voluntary or mandatory via sterilization through "humanitarian" organizations.

In China, the one child law came into force in 1979: some 40 years later, in 2017, the number of births has fallen by 3.5%, while the Chinese elderly in 2020 will be 400 million.

The action of some countries comes along with a natural phenomenon of descending fertility in others. In Asia, this raises the concern about the economic and social consequences. The Asian Association for Population Development (APDA), studying the population of Japan, states: "The increase in population has been the main concern worldwide, while the risks of low birth rates and the consequent decrease in population were not foreseen until now." Without studies, governments have not paid attention to the matter (Solving Japan’s Fertility Crisis). According to the UN, the birth rate in Japan was 2.75 children per woman in the 50s decade, above the 2.1 needed to maintain the population stability. At present, it is 1.44 and the population has decreased by one million in the last five years.

Added to this, there is the social instability: the massive abortion of girls, due to the preference for a male child, means that in China with a population of 1.4 billion, there are 34 million more men than women (Bloomberg), the equivalent of Poland’s population, who will never find wives and rarely have sex. The mothers’ psychological braking down for having to abort by state obligation, in China condemns every day about 590 women to suicide. Chinese social engineering, the largest in human history - birth control, sterilization and forced and selective abortions by government decision - is ending in failure: China 'to scrap child limits altogether' in effort to boost its ageing population.

The phenomenon arouses such deep concerns that the Washington Post, a liberal newspaper, dedicates to it an alarming dossier with graphics, images, statistics, and analytical boxes. "Nothing like this has ever happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decrees and modern medical technology in the two largest countries in the world has created a gender imbalance of a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India. The consequences of having too many men, with sexual maturity, are far-reaching": epidemic of loneliness, distortion in labor markets, increase in savings rates, reduction in consumption, artificial inflation of certain property values, and increase in violent crime, in trafficking of people and in prostitution.

These consequences go farther than China and India alone, they extend to their Asian neighbors and reach Europe and America distorting their economies.

The Washington Post illustrates, in four sections with personal stories, the consequences of this imbalance. Village life and mental health: among men, loneliness and depression spread and villages go empty. Housing prices and savings rates: in China, singles get busy building houses to attract wives, raising houses price, and by reducing their other expenses insofar, they increase the trade surplus; in India with few brides, families feel less pressure to prepare expensive dowries. Increasing human trafficking: foreign brides are recruited and attracted to China what create similar imbalances in neighboring countries. Public Safety: with the increase of men increases sexual delinquency in India and other crimes in both countries. In some cities, harassment of girls at school age demanded such measures as to restrict space and freedom of life for the girls themselves.

In China and India, 50 million of over numbered men are under the age of 20 and the gap at marriage age – from 15 to 29 years - will continue to rise as the current babies grow. Therefore, India lacks 63 million women and their families, according to the government, do not want 21 million girls. The phenomenon has a profound impact on traditional family culture. Adult youth continue to live with their mothers, in some cases, with their grandmothers; women age cooking and cleaning for their adult children with a stress that affects their health; gender imbalance causes "crisis of masculinity" in singles who, not feeling or being considered "complete" men, adopt socially aggressive attitudes to empower their manhood.

While Argentina and Ireland align their legislation in favor of free abortion, and the introducing  abortion in Italy law 194 turns 40 years old, more and more voices arise declaring: "I practiced abortions, today I defend life" (Antonio Oriente, gynecologist). Always more numerous are also doctors declaring themselves the conscience objectors to the point that, to ensure "free abortion", the objectors’ are "forced" to practice abortion. A contraposition between pro-life and pro-abortion movements is to increase with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968). To commemorate this 50th anniversary, 500 members of the English clergy recall one prophecy of the encyclical: if artificial contraception is extended and accepted by society, the proper understanding of marriage, of family, child and of women’s dignity will be lost, and governments will use coercive methods to control what is the most intimate and private matter.

Humanae Vitae was widely criticized inside and outside of the Church, by scientists, politics, feminist movements, and self-defined progressives. The message which was rejected was that artificial contraception is "intrinsically wrong" because it’s against natural morality. Since then, artificial birth control, abortions and voluntary or forced sterilization, not only totalitarian governments have adopted and imposed them, proving the encyclical prophesy to be true, but also their huge development in many societies brought about "the demographic winter". Some provocative voices have risen up to say that Paul VI was right.

Two questions arise.

One, can individual freedom oppose the good of the community, of society? The question in certain African, Asian, and Latin American countries embraces abortion, homosexual marriage, wombs surrogacy, and artificial birth control. The controversy becomes even bitterer when UN and rich countries' organizations seem to impose these "social advances" on countries that perceive them as a form of cultural colonization, provoking aggressive reactions.

Two, can a presumed natural ethics oppose the free decision of a society? The document of the English clergy offers an outbreak: "We believe that an adequate 'human ecology', a rediscovery of the path of nature and the respect for human dignity is essential for the future of our people, both Catholic and non-Catholic." At best, there is no natural morality to be obeyed to as an ethical imperative; but there are ways of nature to respect, under penalty that, from being an ally, nature becomes an enemy and, sooner or later, ends up destroying society. Abortion, birth control, euthanasia, split wombs, voluntary or forced sterilization, are they ethical issues, or are they not, first of all, social dilemmas?

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