Historical fertility rates preclude the existence of significant illegal abortion

The idea of trying to determine the principal causative factors of fertility rates came to prominence at the same time Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood were finally openly promoting the legalization of abortion in the early 1950’s.  An early, often-cited work is “Social Structure and Fertility: An Analytic Framework”. [i] Not surprisingly, both authors, Kingsley Davis and Judith Blake were proponents of population control and were a married couple. Davis, for his part, was a Eugenist and supported abortion as a birth control method and believed in forced sterilization.[ii] [iii]

Eventually the Population Council would take up the cause of identifying the principal factors of fertility rates. This should be of no surprise given that Davis and the Population Council ran in close circles and had a shared goal of reducing the world’s population. To this end the Population Council would make abortion one of the primary factors of fertility rates when it published the work Fertility, Biology and Behavior: An Analysis of the Proximate Determinants in 1983.[iv] This is significant because the Guttmacher Institute cites this methodology as verification for its flawed illegal abortion estimates.

The primary concept behind this methodology is that the total fertility rate is dependent on a few primary causative factors, known as proximate determinants, and as such any other factors are not taken into consideration. The total fertility rate, TFR, is the number of children a women would be expected to have in her lifetime. This relationship is expressed as follows:

Total Fertility Rate Formula

The term “TF” represents “total fertility”, which is the maximum theoretical number of children a women could have. Also, each of the above coefficients generally cannot exceed a value of 1.0 and therefore it becomes clear that the value of TFR is always less that the maximum theoretical number of children a woman could have.

The four coefficients, proximate determinants, are the indexes of marriage, contraception, induced abortion, and postpartum infecundability. The index of marriage has to do with the delay of getting married starting from the assumed earliest age of marriage, which is generally assumed to be fifteen years. The coefficients of contraception and induced abortion are dependent on their specific assumed incidence. Postpartum infecundability is the reduction of fertility due to mostly breastfeeding. There is also an upper age limit for the model, which is generally forty-four or forty-nine years. Thus, the age range for this model is generally fifteen to forty-four or forty-nine years.

Abortion’s inclusion as a primary factor of total fertility is predictable given the ideological purpose of the Population Council. However, once becoming familiar with the proximate determinates methodology and historical fertility rates, it becomes apparent that abortion is not significant in populations with high fertility rates. This is due to various reasons, such as the upper limit of age specific fertility rates, the relatively low life expectancies seen in pre-industrialized societies (a.k.a. “pre-transitional” societies) and breastfeeding’s effect on reducing fertility, all of which are component parameters of the total fertility rate. This important fact is even pointed out by the one of the authors of the referenced model in a later work. Here is an excerpt:[v]

In pretransitional societies the prevalence of contraception (and induced abortion) is typically negligible, so that fertility can be considered natural . . .

Negligible in the context of the article unequivocally implies that that abortion is not to be taken into consideration for the purposes of analysis of fertility. This conclusion is very important given that Margaret Sanger and other racist Malthusiasts have long promoted that abortion was a significant feature of society, to the point that is was even natural. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute promotes this very same theory today, and it is clearly apparent in all of its illegal abortion estimates. Given the wide disparity between the Population Council’s research and the constant claims by the Guttmacher Institute, it appears the fact that abortion is not significant in pre-transitional societies has flown under the radar.

See more in depth discussion regarding this topic in the book “Justifiable Homicide?: The Radical Scheme to Destroy a Race”.

[i] Kingsley Davis, Judith Blake, “Social Structure and Fertility: An Analytic Framework”, Economic Development and Cultural Change Vol. 4, No. 3  (1956), 211-235.

[ii]  David Heer, Kingsley Davis: A Biography and Selections from His Writings, (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2004), 444.

[iii] John Aird, Slaughter of the Innocents: Coercive Birth Control in China, (AEI Press, 1990), 118.

[iv] John Bongaarts, Robert Potter, Fertility, Biology and Behavior: An Analysis of the Proximate Determinants, (New York: Academic Press, 1983).

[v]  John Bongaarts, “The Proximate Determinants of Exceptionally High Fertility”, Population and Development Review Vol. 13, No. 1 (1987): 133.