|Copyright Associated Press|
An article in today's New York Times ("Russians Adopt U.S. tactics In Opposing Abortion") mischaracterizes the upcoming Moscow Demographic Summit: The Family and The Future of Humankind—June 29-30 at the Russian State Social University—as "an international antiabortion meeting."
So says World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs, who was mentioned in The Times' story twice. Jacobs is now speaking out to set the record straight.
"While it's true that World Congress of Families is uncompromisingly pro-life, as part of our natural family agenda, the Moscow Demographic Summit is first and foremost about the dramatic worldwide decline of birthrates, and only secondarily about abortion," Jacobs says. "Our goals are to analyze the phenomenon, examine how we reached this crisis and suggest solutions to what could be the greatest challenge confronting humanity in this century."
Abortion has played an undeniable role in this tragedy, but it's far from the only factor. Late marriage, cohabitation and the culturally-induced desire for small families are among the many factors which have led to a 50 percent decline in birthrates worldwide since the late 1960s, Jacobs says.
"While pro-life spokesmen—Russian and international—will play a prominent role in the Summit, so too will demographers, economists, sociologists, authors, researchers and political and religious leaders, whose primary concern lies in other areas," Jacobs says.
In discussing growing Russian opposition to abortion on demand, Jacobs says the New York Times also failed to note the grim reality the nation faces: its birthrate is barely 1.2 (children per woman) with a birthrate of 2.1 needed just to replace current population. It's been estimated that in Russia today there are 4 million abortions annually and only 1.7 million live births. Jacobs concludes, "This is national suicide by 'choice.'"
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