We should pay to keep unborn babies alive

December 23, 2014
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By Jasbir T. Singh |

I read an excellent blog post the other day, My Neighbors and their Children, by Mariola O'Brien. It really speaks to the effect that abortion has, not only on unborn victims and their mothers, but also on the bystanders around them.
Truly, children are the greatest wealth and most appreciated good of the family. That is why it is necessary to help all persons to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion that, in attempting against a human life in its beginning, is also an aggression against society itself. -- Benedict XVI
Support and encourage pregnant women

I think that pregnant teenagers and women who are afraid and considering abortion should be treated like princesses. Society should provide more support and encouragement to help women in desperate situations to keep their babies. Organizations like Birthright are great, and I would even go as far as suggesting that the government should compensate pregnant women with a healthy grant that is redeemable only upon the birth of their babies. Considering Canada's abysmal birth rate of 1.029 (CIA, estimate for 2014), what else can be done to encourage women to have babies?

Introduce the Registered Pregnancy Grant

We already have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in Canada, so why not go a little further and offer a Registered Pregnancy Grant (RPG) to all pregnant Canadian citizens? The amount of the grant would be inversely related to the pregnant person's employment history and income.

For example, if the pregnant person has a history of unemployment, and is unemployed during pregnancy, then the government could, for example, provide a maximum grant of $4000 which could only be withdrawn after the baby has been born and registered under the mother's care. Anyone with an income amount over a certain threshold would not be eligible for the grant. Further details would have to be worked out, but in general I think this would be a way to help support and encourage anyone going through an unwanted pregnancy.

If we assume that there are approximately 350,000 births in Canada per year, and around 100,000 abortions in Canada per year, then the RPG would be available to a certain percentage of the 450,000 pregnancies. If the grant is restricted to individuals with low incomes, then one could conservatively estimate that 200,000 people might qualify for an RPG averaging around $2000. This means that the government program would have to shell out $400M per year to expectant mothers.

Is this affordable? Well, it might be if you consider the $2B that was spent on Canada's cancelled long gun registry, or the $685M dollars that Canada recovered in one year by increasing excise taxes on tobacco.

Abortion should not be the only option for unwanted pregnancies. Expecting mothers should receive financial support, which might encourage them to turn away from abortion, and to carry their unborn babies to full term. The current Conservative government already shows its strong support of families with the Canada Child Tax Benefit and Universal Child Care Benefit, so a new RPG would be a logical extension of these same benefits.

Ending abortion is better for the Canadian Economy

Canada loses approximately 100,000 people per year from abortion. If abortion rates stay the same over the next 18 years, that translates to 1.8 million citizens that would have been on their way to contributing to the Canadian economy, and paying their fair share of taxes.

Related
A number of other countries facing declining birthrates have offered similar incentives. Australia offers a $4,000 bonus for every baby, and recently proposed to pay all child care costs for women who want to work. Many European countries, including France, Italy and Poland, have offered some combination of bonuses and monthly payments to families.

Some Japanese localities, facing near catastrophic population loss, are offering rich incentives. Yamatsuri, a town of 7,000 just north of Tokyo, offers parents $4,600 for the birth of a child and $460 a year for 10 years. Singapore has a particularly lavish plan: $3,000 for the first child, $9,000 in cash and savings for the second; and up to $18,000 each for the third and fourth.

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