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PRI Review – March 8, 2019



  • Too Many Kids?
  • Body Parts Scam Exposed
  • Northern Ireland Abortion Case

 

Segment One

Are We Running Out of People?

Everyone knows that the world is overpopulated, or soon will be. But what if everyone is wrong?

Steven W. Mosher

Ask anyone if the world is overpopulated, and you know what they will say.

The idea that we humans are breeding ourselves to death—and taking the planet with us–is in the air that we breathe.

It was drummed into us in high school biology, where we were told that the world is like a tiny “lifeboat.”  We have to lighten the load, our teachers told us, or the “lifeboat” will sink and we will all die.

And who can forget Al Gore’s doomsday scenario, in which he warned us that a “black hole” will engulf us if we do not stop having babies.  Armageddon, anyone?

But It’s worth thinking about what would happen if everyone actually abandoned childbearing.  Because it turns out that a lot of young people are already doing exactly that.

While on the fantasy island of overpopulation human numbers are always exploding, a close look at the real world reveals an increasingly barren reality.  Many nations, especially in Europe, are already in a death spiral, filling more coffins than cradles each year.  Listen closely, and you will hear the muffled sound of populations crashing.

The birth dearth that began in post-war Europe has now spread to every corner of the globe.  China is dying, India and Latin America are rapidly growing old, while the Middle East is barely holding its own.  Even in once prolific Africa, birth rates are in freefall.

You may be forgiven for not knowing this, because the United Nations continues to beat the overpopulation drum.  Human numbers will balloon to 9 1/2 billion people by 2050, it chants, and reach 11 or even 12 billion by 2100.

This will happen, the U. N. says, because a secret fertility rebound is brewing. Women in largely barren places like Germany, France and Japan will soon start having more children–in fact, many, many more children.  Never mind that there is zero evidence to back up such a claim, which itself seems like nothing more than a desperate attempt to breathe new life into a dying theory.

From the U.N. Population Division’s latest projections, “World Population Graph.”

Buried in the U.N. data is another, far more accurate, projection called the “low variant.”  But because it doesn’t fit the “overpopulation” narrative, neither the U.N. nor the media gives it much airtime.

The “low variant” assumes that once birth rates go low, they stay low.  It accepts that educated, urbanized young women in Paris, London, or Tokyo who today only want one child—or none–are not suddenly going to want a second tomorrow.  Women in the rest of the world will follow, and global fertility will fall to European levels, or about 1.3 children per woman.

The bottom line: global numbers will peak at something less than 9 billion around 2050.  After that, the human die-off will begin, slowly at first, but faster and faster as the years go by.  By the end of the century, we will be back to our present numbers—about 7 ½ billion—but we will be, collectively, far older and greyer.

What this means is that our present problem is not too many babies, it’s too few babies.

Many of today’s young adults are too enamored of sex, the city, and the single life to think about marriage, much less about replacing themselves.  Education delays marriage and provides other opportunities for women besides marriage and family.  A single Swedish woman may eventually bear one child as her biological clock approaches midnight, but she is unlikely to bear a second.

For materially minded couples in countries where the state provides old age benefits and charges high tax rates in consequence, the way to get ahead is to remain perpetually childless.  The cradle to grave welfare programs that have now spread throughout the world have not merely made children superfluous to wealth, they have made children themselves the enemy of wealth. They are now, as the Chinese say, “Goods on which one loses.”

Why give up a second income to bring a child into the world who will never, at least in material terms, repay your investment?  Why provide for the future by having children to care for you in your dotage, if the government has pledged to keep you out of the poorhouse anyway?

A young Florida woman, who was commuting 100 miles a day to her well-paying job,  once complained to me about how little time she had to spend with her only child, a four-year-old son.  Perhaps she could get a job locally so she could be home more, I suggested helpfully, even though it would mean selling her expensive SUV.  “You don’t understand,” she said aghast, “My husband and I love this SUV.”

These are the calculations that are driving the old age tsunami that is about to hit the world, not just in places like New York, but in Rio and Nairobi as well.

For a long time population growth has been seen as the enemy, particularly by those who did not realize that it was a key driver of economic growth.  Now, with young people becoming a scarce resource, the linkage is clear.  Absent a nuclear war, global plague, or a collision with a comet, business from now on is primarily going to be a numbers game.

The rapid aging of the population, by reducing the amount of human capital available, will dramatically darken humanities prospects in countless ways.

Population growth has been an important escalator of consumer demand.  Try selling cars, houses, refrigerators–or anything else, for that matter–in a depopulating country.  Try seeking profitable investments in the stock market when millions of elders start slowly liquidating their IRAs and 401Ks to survive.

Some sectors, such as pharmaceuticals and health care, will still do well, but shrinking demand elsewhere will more than offset these gains.

The ranks of workers will thin with each passing year, while the number of elderly will grow. Countries will be forced to slash pensions or raise the retirement age.  Living standards may fall, and economies may well shrink.

Within the next couples of decades, the world will enter a “low-birthrate recession.”  Unlike other recessions, this one may never end.

Shrinking birthrates also threaten social isolation as family circles collapse.  Those seniors who lack close family ties will be socially isolated and painfully lonely.

As Ben Wattenberg once remarked, “Young DINKs (double income, no kids) may be cute. Old LINKs (low income, no kids) may be tragic.”

So stop telling us that we are having too many children already.  Our long-term problem, which is now upon us, is too few children.

This is the real “black hole.”  And it threatens to devour us all.

 

Segment Two

 

Baby Body Parts Traffickers to be Deported to Ecuador

The Isaias Family Were Some of Planned Parenthood’s Best Customers

The brothers Roberto and William Isaías were arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service on February 13th. The spokesman for ICE, Nestor Yglesias, indicated that the brothers were “illegally present” in the United States. They will be deported to Ecuador, where they are wanted for various crimes.

But the Isaias family also has a criminal record in the State of California. They are linked to a scandal of selling human organs and tissues, particularly those of aborted babies, which they trafficked internationally. Now that they are being returned to Ecuador, one wonders if they will try and start a similar business there.

Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S. have been accused of trafficking in baby body parts. Those who promote the legalization of abortion in Ecuador gloss over the fact that, while abortion may be legal in the U.S.,  other crimes continue to occur. What would be the fate of the bodies of aborted Ecuadorian babies, if abortion is legalized there. Will they be they be sold like cuts of beef at a butcher’s shop to the highest international bidder? This is what happened in America. Will women’s lives be put at risk so that the organ buyers can obtain the “freshest” tissue possible? Will Ecuadorian abortionists attempt to hide this immoral practice as Planned Parenthood directors did in the United States?

In 2017 the District Attorney for the Country of Orange, California sued two companies: Da Vinci Biosciences, LLC and DV Biologics, both founded and managed by Estéfano Isaías and their children Andrés Isaías and Estéfano Isaías Jr., for the illegal trafficking of body parts. The parties reached a settlement agreement for $7.8 million and ordered the closure and termination of the operations of both companies. Andres Isaias, son of Estefano Isaias, was listed as President of both companies, while his father and brother Estéfano Isaias Jr. were in charge of financial decisions and accounting management. Luis Isaiah, son of Robert Isaiah, was also involved with these companies.

Da Vinci Biosciences began its operations in 2008 as a laboratory exclusively dedicated to the development and research with stem cells for the treatment of diseases. In March 2009 it began to operate DV Biologics LLC as the lucrative branch of the family business, sharing facilities, capital, inventory and hired personnel. In 2012, the company The Bio Box LLC, directed by Andrés Isaías, was also incorporated which functioned as a stem cell bank or laboratory. In the state of California it is permissible to conduct scientific research with stem cells and the stem-cell-based market is valued at several billion dollars. (Orange County District Attorney News Release Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney)

Between 2009 and 2011, companies practically tripled their profits from sales of tissues and human organs to pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions around the world through a network of distributors. By the end of 2011, the defendants had illegally sold tissues and cells of aborted babies to Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom. In 2012 alone the companies had an inventory of 500 products with more than 13,000 units available for sale, and the inventory was valued at $4.4 million.

Da Vinci Biosciences bills show prices of $350 per fetal liver, $500 per fetal thymus gland and $1,100 per fetal brain cells. The company practiced tax evasion as well. Research by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas found that the majority of prenatal sales generated a profit margin of more than 70%, “star” products such as the sale of prenatal renal fibroblasts, whose price per unit amounted to $375, which generated profit margins of  1,000%.

The legal settlement of $7.8 million corresponded to the assessed value of the companies, and further required that all biological samples, tissues and cells of adults that made up their inventory be donated to an academic and scientific institution affiliated with a prestigious medical school in the United States. The defendants also had to donate and transfer the laboratory storage containers and other equipment worth more than $10,000. Finally, DV Biologics had to pay the County $195,000 in civil penalties.

This legal process represents the first successful prosecution of a company selling human organs in the U.S.  It followed the release of videos by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in 2015 under its “Human Capital Project.” The videos showed top executives of Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of tissues and organs of babies aborted in a very graphic way and with grotesque details.

This research brought to public light the fact that for eight consecutive years, the Planned Parenthood branches of Orange and San Bernardino counties in California, supplied hearts, lungs, brains, and intestines of aborted babies to DV Biologics. In exchange for providing parts of aborted babies, Planned Parenthood received substantial contributions from DaVinci Biosciences. Note that Planned Parenthood Orange & San Bernardino Counties’ 2008 Annual Report lists Da Vinci Biosciences as one of their largest “donors.”

Under California law, the purchase or sale of tissue or organs of embryos or fetuses is illegal, unjust, and fraudulent practice. Under United States Federal Law, it is illegal to acquire, receive, or transfer any fetal human tissue in interstate commerce and the crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of more than $500,000. Fetal human tissue is considered to be tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion.

In order to stay in the U.S., the Isaias family made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to the Democratic and Republican political campaigns, in what became known as the Clinton Scandal “Pay for Play.” Members of the Isaias family delivered $300,000 directly to Democratic politicians including Hillary Clinton through the intermediation of Cheryl Mills, according to The New York Times. In return, the family received favorable treatment from the U.S. administration of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s Department of State, which allowed them entry into the U.S. and later political asylum. Extradition requests from the government of Ecuador were ignored.

The abortion industry has shown one of its most perverse sides with the trafficking of fetal body parts,” says Carlos Polo, Director of the Population Research Institute Office in Latin America.

“The videos produced by Center for Medical Progress leave nothing to the imagination,” Polo says, “Senior officers of Planned Parenthood commercialized the organs of aborted fetuses. Through American TV stations, we have witnessed that they wanted Lamborghinis, they hid all this business from women and they put their lives at risk by altering abortion procedures to get fresher organs.”

“The involvement of the Isaiah brothers in trafficking of fetal parts and the bill to decriminalize abortion in Ecuador make that world of madness and cruelty a step closer to becoming a reality in Latin American countries,” Polo says.

The Center for Medical Progress’ journalistic investigation has elevated the investigation of the illegal trafficking and sale of organs by Planned Parenthood to the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Judicial Committee and the House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. Both have corroborated the allegations and have uncovered systematic violations of the law by the “Body Parts” Programme and IPPF partner companies. These entities are currently under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. In the case of the member companies of Planned Parenthood, “Da Vinci” was the first to be prosecuted as a result of the successful journalistic investigation of the Center for Medical Progress through a series of 7 videos. (House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, July 15, 2015 Press Release)

The Trump administration is making important strides in defunding Planned Parenthood. But it is not enough to simply take public monies away from the organization. Investigations into the sale of aborted babes must continue. For the practice has been enabled by a network of greedy politicians, and underpinned by a complete lack of respect for the dignity of unborn human life. Ecuadorians and Americans should band together to jointly defend and protect human life.

 

Segment Three

 

Northern Ireland High Court Weighs Legalizing Abortion

Will the last pro-life bastion in the U.K. fall?

Jonathan Abbamonte
MARCH 7, 2019

A high court in Northern Ireland could soon legalize abortion in cases of life-threatening fetal disability.

On From January 30-31, the High Court of Justice in Belfast, Northern Ireland heard oral arguments in a case concerning a 28-year-old woman named Sarah Ewart who travelled to England back in 2013 to abort her unborn child who was diagnosed with a serious congenital disorder. The case would seek to legalize abortion in Northern Ireland in cases where the unborn child is suffering from a severe or life-threatening disability.

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland, except in cases to preserve the life of the mother or in cases where there are severe risks to the mother’s physical or mental health.

Northern Ireland is the last remaining country in the United Kingdom that does not permit abortion on-demand. Ireland—a country which borders Northern Ireland to the south and west— legalized abortion late last year, on demand up to 12 weeks and later in cases of health and fetal disability.

Ewart’s lawyer, Adam Straw, argued that Northern Ireland’s law banning abortion violated Ewart’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, an important European human rights treaty. Article 8 of the Convention guarantees the right to respect for an individual’s privacy and family life.

Attorney General for Northern Ireland John Larkin, QC defended Northern Ireland’s law prohibiting abortion, retorting that legalizing abortion in cases of serious fetal disability would constitute a violation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ICRPD).

“The unborn child belongs to the human race. Selecting out some unborn children for abortion on the basis of disability is prohibited,” Larkin told the court, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Indeed, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has said as much. The CRPD is the body tasked with monitoring the implementation of the ICRPD treaty.

In 2017, in a written statement, the CRPD criticized the draft document for the U.N. Human Rights Committee’s (CCPR) General Comment No. 36 which had called on states to legalize abortion in cases “when the foetus suffers from fatal impairment.” The CRPD condemned the authorization of abortion targeting the unborn with disabilities stating, “Laws which explicitly allow for abortion on grounds of impairment violate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

The United Kingdom, of which Northern Ireland is a part, is bound by international treaty to observe both the European Convention and the ICRPD. The ICRPD has also been ratified by the E.U. Under the Human Rights Act of 1998, U.K. residents can also sue for their rights under the European Convention in domestic court rather than having to appeal their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.

Ewart’s case was argued before Mrs. Justice Keegan of the High Court. At the conclusion of the hearings, Mrs. Justice Keegan reserved judgement on the case and will hand down a judgement at a future date.

Regardless of which way the case goes, the decision is likely to be appealed to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, the country’s highest court of appeal. After the Court of Appeal, the case may again be appealed to the U.K. Supreme Court and possibly subsequently to the European Court of Human Rights.

Ewart’s aborted child had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a serious congenital disorder where a child is missing parts of the brain and skull. While the disorder is usually fatal, infants born with anencephaly have been known to defy all odds and survive even to their first birthday and bring great joy to their families.

“[T]his is barbaric,” Bernie Smyth from the pro-life organization Precious Life told The Guardian concerning the push to legalize abortion in the country, “it is wrong and it should never be introduced here in Northern Ireland.”

Ewart and her attorney filed the case with the High Court in Belfast after the U.K. Supreme Court, just last summer, found Northern Ireland’s laws prohibiting abortion in cases of rape, incest, and life-threatening fetal disability were a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But the Supreme Court in that case stopped short of overturning Northern Ireland’s abortion laws on a technicality. The Supreme Court case was brought forward by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) which the court found did not have standing in the case because it could not claim to be a victim.

NIHRC had originally brought the case before the High Court of Justice back in 2015. The High Court had then ruled that Northern Ireland’s laws banning abortion were a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention.

Following the High Court’s 2015 decision, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice and Attorney General successfully appealed the case to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland on June 29, 2017. The Court of Appeal found that the legal status of abortion was a matter for the Northern Ireland legislature to decide, not the courts.

In June 2018, the U.K. Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision, calling Northern Ireland’s laws banning abortion a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention. However, because NIHRC could not claim to be a victim, Northern Ireland’s laws remained intact. To overcome this legal technicality, Ewart and her attorney subsequently filed a new case, alleging that she had been a victim of Northern Ireland’s abortion ban.

Despite the Supreme Court’s claim that Northern Ireland’s abortion law violates Article 8 of the European Convention, however, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has never ruled that states are required to legalize abortion in cases of fetal disability or in cases of rape and incest under the Convention.

According to the ECtHR, the legal status of abortion is a matter for states alone to decide. The ECtHR has made clear that states under the European Convention are allowed a “broad margin of appreciation” to pass laws banning abortion.[1],[2] The ECtHR has never found any state in violation of Article 8 because of a government’s decision to make abortion illegal in cases of life-threatening fetal disability.

 

For more about the validity of Northern Ireland’s abortion law under the European Convention, read more here.

 

 

[1] A,B & C v. Ireland, App. No. 25579/05, Eur. Ct. H.R., ¶249 (2010).

[2] R.R. v. Poland, App. No. 27617/04, Eur. Ct. H.R., ¶187 (2011).

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