Texas Railroad Commissioner outlines defense of Life in speech

Below are portions of text from a speech given by Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman to the State Republican Executive Committee on March 2, 2013.  Commissioner Smitherman is endorsed by Texas Right to Life PAC and is a staunch advocate for the rights of the unborn in Texas and the country.  In his speech, Commissioner Smitherman highlighted his dedication to defending innocent human Life in Texas and beyond.



Today, I want to visit with you about a different kind of energy—human life energy.   And let’s face it; Republicans are the party of life.  We honor life, we value life, and we want our citizens to enjoy life to the fullest.  237 years ago, our founding fathers wrote these words,  “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  These seven words, found in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, may be the most powerful English language sentence ever written, and give us the roadmap for successful living.



It should come as no surprise that “Life” is the first of these inalienable rights.  The founding fathers recognized that nothing matters if one has no life.  It’s common sense, but incredibly profound, and divinely inspired by God. The founding fathers were men of God and looked to God’s word for inspiration.  They believed, as I do, that God created man (and woman) in his own image for his own honor; and not that we evolved from pond scum, single cell amoebas, or monkeys over billions and billions of years.


God not only made man, he cared about him so much that he wrought retribution on those who killed or enslaved his chosen people, the Hebrews. You will recall that Pharaoh (in Exodus) bore the brunt of God’s wrath when he attempted to kill the first born of the Jews and then refused to let the Israelites go to their promised land as 10 plagues were visited upon them by God.


Much like the Chinese “one child” policy of today–which usually results in the birth of a boy and often in the abortion of a girl–historical attempts at genocide do not go without inevitable “reckoning.”  We have in China today a live, modern example of what happens when a society does not honor “life.”  As it did for the Egyptians under Pharaoh, I predict that this too will end badly.


Introduced in 1979, the “one child” policy has, according to the Chinese Gov., “prevented” about 400 million births.  Whether the 400 mm is accurate or not, the one child policy has resulted in dramatically increased abortions (almost all female babies), female infanticide, female abandonment, females disproportionately found in orphanages, fines for couples who dare to have more than one child, and China’s dramatic sex imbalance, which is now approaching 120 males for 100 females.   China’s total fertility rate was 1.6 in 2009, and today is 1.5.   Often referred to euphemistically as “late, long, and few”, the Chinese Gov. has said that the one child policy will continue until at least 2015. 


Under both President Reagan and President George W. Bush, the US pulled out of the United Nations Population Fund Activities (UNPFA), which is the primary international funding source for China’s “one child” policy.  However, President Obama, not surprisingly, resumed funding for UNPFA, in 2009.  


Today in China, despite what you might hear of its economic progress and dynamism, the country faces a looming demographic calamity.  Called the “4-2-1 Problem”, they have one child, who as a young adult is increasingly responsible for the care of two parents and sometimes four still living grandparents.  In addition, this only child, if he/she is still young, is often spoiled beyond belief by his parents, and with no siblings to share toys, food or clothing, these children have developed, according to one Chinese source, “social problems and personality disorders, are over indulged, lack self-discipline, and have little to no adaptive capabilities.”  Couple this with the child’s inevitable responsibility for taking care of mom, dad, grandpa and grandma, and you can see the potential problems.  One Chinese professor has suggested that the country should at least allow for two children saying, “The one child policy is too extreme.  It violates nature’s law. And in the long run, this will lead to mother-nature’s revenge.”  


I am increasingly concerned that in America we are developing our own “late, long and few” version of the one child policy, and we have chosen it without governmental mandate, and it will result in equally disastrous consequences.  Today, America’s total fertility rate is 1.9.  Among white, college educated women, its 1.6 (about where the Chinese are today).  The needed replacement fertility rate in America is 2.1.  Recently released 2011 numbers show a record low birth rate; in fact you have to go back to the 20s to find a birth rate this low.  In the late 50s and early 60s, it was twice the 2011 rate.   So, we are not making enough babies to replace Americans that are dying and as the “baby boom” generation ages, this relationship only gets worse.  Despite what you may have heard about the world becoming overpopulated and the need for fewer people in order to sustain the planet (a favorite line of Global Warming alarmists), growing populations of young people lead to innovation, creativity, a growing economy, and a cleaner, greener planet.  According to a recent WSJ article, “Human ingenuity, which requires humans, is the most precious of all resources.”  To quote commentator David Brooks, who is sometimes a conservative, “At some point over the past generation, people around the world entered what you might call the age of “possibility.”  They became intolerant of any arrangement that might close off their personal options.  {However}  People are not better off when they are given maximum personal freedom to do what they want.  They’re better off when they are enshrouded in commitments that transcend personal choice—family, God, craft, and country.  The surest way for people to bind themselves is through the family.  Our laws and attitudes should be biased toward family formation and fertility….”   


Inverse Pyramid societies, like China and increasingly like ours, don’t invest, innovate or project power around the globe— young people either spend to take care of the elderly, or they save money for when they become old. 


Not only is this happening in China and in America.   It has already happened in Japan.  Today’s total fertility rate in Japan is 1.3.  By 2100, Japan’s population is projected to be one-half of what it is today.  Well, the Malthusians would say, fewer people, that’s good for Japan.  No, not really.  From 1950 through 1973, when the Japanese were still having lots of babies, the annual GDP growth rate was 5.4%.  From 1990 through 2006, it was .63%.  Today, in Japan, the annual economic growth rate is about 1%.  Lets be clear, the higher your GDP growth rate, the higher your citizens’ standard of living.  


While life is a fundamental, inalienable right given by God, it also turns out to be good economic policy.  Healthy birth rates equal a healthy economy.  Anemic birth rates equal a bad economy.  This dynamic is made even worse as poor future economic prospects lead to later marriage and few children, further compounding our economic problems.  Late, long, and few.  It’s a vicious cycle with no end in sight….


[W]e must do all in our power to discourage abortion.  Since Roe v. Wade, over 55 million children have been aborted in the last 40 years.  Assuming that half of those children killed would now be 20 or older, that half were male and half female, and that all of them were married and had two children, we would have had another 27.5 mm Americans.  So the travesty of abortion isn’t just the 55 million children that have been aborted, it’s those 55 mm, plus the 27.5 mm children who weren’t conceived because their parents themselves weren’t born.  I know it sounds somewhat metaphysical, but abortion has cost our country at least 82.5 mm people.  That’s about 27% of our current total population and probably close to 50% of our working age population, that we will never recover.  At a time when our federal debt is $16.5 trillion, having another $82.5 mm people, hitting their stride in work force, would add to the GDP and help propel our economy forward. 


Efforts by our State Legislature, including last session’s sonogram bill, are making a real difference in reducing abortions.  However, we must be vigilant as new technologies, including the “morning after pill,” make it easier to eliminate a baby after it is conceived.  I encourage all of us to support new legislative efforts that discourage abortion and protect the rights of the unborn.

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