Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

The struggle for abortion and other reform north and south is far from over

Sat 4 May 2013, 9:17am

John O Neill identifies the interesting paradox that while abortion and civil marriage  appears to have  united north and south Catholic and mainstream Protestant politicians, it’s the all- Ireland parties, above all Sinn Fein or elements of it , that have making the “progressive” case. Not that the advocacy has been clear or consistent, as Slugger posts have lovingly traced. But now, the raging debates have even attracted the attention of the Economist in an article  where it identifies the new “fault lines” in Ireland’s “culture wars. “

“In the Republic of Ireland, too, Sinn Fein is using party discipline to impose a liberal line on its representatives (whose personal views range from secular to devout) over abortion. A revision of the republic’s ultra-strict abortion laws is on the cards after the death of an Indian woman who was refused a termination at a hospital in Galway. However Sinn Fein is still careful to present its position in technical and legalistic terms; its leaders have stressed that they are not a “pro-abortion” party. They may be indifferent to the Catholic hierarchy but still feel some sensitivity to Catholic voters…

.. right now, clerical influence over politics seems much stronger on the Protestant side than on the Catholic side. For example, some Protestant members of Northern Ireland’s administration subscribe to a fundamentalist reading of the Creation story and believe that museums should incorporate “Creationist” ideas in presenting the history of the planet. That too is an argument that is much more familiar to Americans than it is to most people in relatively secular Europe.”

There’s another interesting paradox. The conservative side may be more aware than the progressive that social change will not stop here, however rocky and winding the road. That explains their stridency. But the Catholic church’s implacable opposition to even the minor adjustments to the abortion rules in the Republic has provoked a sharp reply from the tanaiste, that the democracy is paramount. Labour may be under pressure but he will win widespread support on this point.  The continuing struggle offers reformers a continuing platform.  At least the Catholics are upfront; the Presbyterian attitude in pressuring David Ford out of his eldership looks furtive and cowardly.

The upsurge of UKIP in England shows that even there, change doesn’t happen in a straight line. The English experience is probably the most powerful influence on the Irish debates north and south and the clearest measure of degree of change.  Human rights campaigns will not win in straight fights with political opinion. What they can do is undermine the apparent monolith of public opinion and by bringing bad cases to public attention and provoking a measure of change  .

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Comments (59)

  1. oakleaf (profile) says:

    The media hasn’t brought much attention to the Kermit Gosnell case.

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  2. DC (profile) says:

    ‘Provoked a sharp reply from the tanaiste, that the democracy is paramount.’

    and in response – the divinely ordained catholic hierarchy muttered: democracy – party, class and bastard law.

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  3. Coll Ciotach (profile) says:

    The steps to introduce the most regressive legislation, the denial of the most fundamental right – the right to life – is presented as an advance? Amazing the moral contortions the pro abortion lobby engage in.

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  4. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Coll Ciotach

    Absolutely. Abortion is legal almost everywhere. Soon it will be legal here. You can’t stop it.

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  5. Coll Ciotach (profile) says:

    It has been stopped

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  6. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Only in your imagination.

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  7. MrPMartin (profile) says:

    Poor old Eire. It thinks its free yet it happy to be a dupe of the Church of Rome and lets its priests and bishops and popes dictate the terms of people’s lives

    Where was Salvita’s right to life?

    Its time Eire woke up from its Vatican slumber and truly free itself

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  8. MrPMartin (profile) says:

    This sorry episode only reinforces my unionism. Asking Ulster to join Eire is like asking Florida to join Guatamala

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  9. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    This sorry episode only reinforces my unionism. Asking Ulster to join Eire is like asking Florida to join Guatamala

    How does it reinforce your unionism ? We don’t have abortion rights in NI either, and in the assembly and elsewhere people vote according to the dictat of their church (not just Catholics either).

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  10. Coll Ciotach (profile) says:

    see – it is not only in my imagination

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  11. DC (profile) says:

    Comrade you were found out there lad by Coll.

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  12. carl marks (profile) says:

    Lads if you think its all over your very mistaken! Ireland (north and south) will catch up with the civilised world someday,
    MrPMartin,
    I too would like a answer to CS’s question, in the last week unionism has proven itself to be still at the beck and call of the same type of people who used to tell us that it was god’s will that the swings were chained up on Sunday, so please explain the reasoning for your smugness?
    DC
    Perhaps you missed the actions of the divinely ordained protestant clergy in the north this week!
    NO church or region has come out of this with any dignity and those who are trying to use this as some sort of attempt at anti Irishness by implying the south is priest ridden are turning a blind eye to what happened at Stormont this week!

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  13. abucs (profile) says:

    Russia of course was ‘way ahead’ (ahem) of us with such ‘progressive’ legislation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Russia

    and they are way ahead of us also in having to face the disaster this has brought.

    http://fiveaspects.net/idiot-alert-commit-demographic-suicide/

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  14. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I wasn’t “found out”. Coll argued that abortion reform had been “stopped” as if the prospect of it proceeding in the future was out of the question. That’s the part that is imaginary. The march of progress on the issue has not been stopped. In Northern Ireland the Marie Stopes clinic passed a key stage when the fundies failed in their effort to close it by introducing a legal technicality.

    But tragically, and before long, another pregnant woman is going to die and people are going to have to face up to the question of whether or not that is right. Eventually – it may take a couple of decades – abortion will be legal here, just as it is everywhere else. It is inevitable and it cannot be stopped.

    abucs, the trouble is that making abortion illegal won’t stop it. Is there some sort of mental block with some people that prevents them from understanding this ?

    Furthermore, the period in history you are talking about coincides with the widespread availability of safe and reliable contraception. Should we ban that too, and pass legislation casting women in a permanent role as servants of the nation whose role is limited to propagation of the species ?

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  15. abucs (profile) says:

    Making rape, theft and murder illegal also doesn’t stop any of that. I thought such a thing was obvious, otherwise our jails would be empty. What mental block are you referring to?

    Comrade, at one stage Russia had more than 2 abortions for every live birth. Apart from the moral question of life, this has put Russia’s population into a tailspin and threatened its civilisation.

    To your question of whether the state should ban contraception and pass legislation which put women in a permanent role as servant, limited to propagation of the species……

    Where do these questions come from? Have i even hinted at such a thing or did you run out of sensible things to say?

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  16. carl marks (profile) says:

    abucs
    To compare Abortion to rape or murder is just ridiculous,
    CS points out that abortion has always been there, when you make it illegal you drive women to criminal back street abortionists with the resulting infection, sterility and death which all too often results from medical procedures carried out in secret often by unqualified individuals ,
    The website you refer to (five aspects) is heavy on theology but very light on science,
    The Russian population is stable there is no threat to it civilisation, its birth rate matches its death rate, a position that many societies would like to be at since a expanding human population is unsustainable with the resources available on the planet.
    Out of interest what is your line on contraception, do you think contraceptives should be freely available to all, where do you stand on sex education, if a single girl has a baby should society assist her in raising the child with dignity or take the child off her put it up for adoption and place her in a home.
    Do you think that the way unmarried mothers were treated in the past (fallen women) by most “Christian groups was right or wrong”?
    You see Christians have historically been opposed to abortion but also historically they have been notorious for either ignoring or ill-treating unmarried mothers and their children!

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  17. abucs (profile) says:

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/ab-russia.html

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/study-higher-contraception-rates-associated-with-higher-abortion-rates-in-r/

    http://rbth.ru/society/2013/03/28/russian_women_prefer_abortion_to_the_pill_24379.html

    http://geocurrents.info/news-map/gender-news/abortion-and-birth-control-policies-and-practices-differ-in-russia-belarus-and-ukraine

    http://geocurrents.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/abortion_rates_Europe_map.gif

    http://geocurrents.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/abortion_laws_world_map.gif

    http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/lifestyle/russia-world-s-highest-rate-of-abortions-1.1176756#.UYbNh787afQ

    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=world+map+demographics&sa=X&hl=en&biw=1600&bih=723&tbm=isch&tbnid=Be51FzfmM311YM:&imgrefurl=http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/facts-and-figures/all-facts-wwdr3/fact1-demographics-consumption/&docid=oh9cTSBIrPBz6M&imgurl=http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/images/img_wwap_wwdr3_map_2.1_popgrowth.jpg&w=800&h=447&ei=sc-GUZ_hIuO1iAfGnYCQBQ&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:10,s:0,i:112

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  18. abucs (profile) says:

    Almost 100 years since communist Russia was the first to legalise abortion and they are still arguing about it :

    http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2011/11/08/orthodox-church-backed-abortion-bill-sparks-protest-in-russia/

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russian-orthodox-spokesman-abortion-is-the-most-terrible-holocaust-in-human/

    http://www.pravmir.com/rally-against-abortions-held-in-tbilisi/

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  19. oakleaf (profile) says:

    Carl Marks have you read about Kermit Gosnell and seem pictures of those innocent babies? That is muder whether the state says so or not. Hiding behind the state doesn’t make it moral.

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  20. abucs (profile) says:

    OK that’s another two posts that have been stuck for half a day in moderation.

    I’ll take the hint and go to sites that allow speedy debate, free from its own bias.

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  21. carl marks (profile) says:

    oakleaf
    Come on if you’re going to use extremes to advance your argument then we can all do that,
    This argument is about women having the right of control over their own bodies, all the horror stories pumped out by the anti abortion lobby (Belfast city centre on a Saturday afternoon is a good example) are just attempts to divert the argument from where it really belongs.
    I note that you avoid dealing with my points about contraception or how you think unmarried mothers should be dealt with by the state (want a horror story try Magdalene laundries) and what about the children boy weren’t they really well taken care of by the state (how many enquiries going on into children homes ?) so please the anti choice side would be well advised to avoid the horror stories thing, people in glass houses should avoid throwing stones!

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  22. Framer (profile) says:

    There remains another element that John O’Neill doesn’t delve into and that is the attitude of the Alliance Party on equal marriage and the SDLP on abortion.
    In the case of Alliance which has a policy of gay marriage only one of their eight MLAs could bring themselves to vote for the Sinn Fein motion (Anna Lo).
    The SDLP did manage a good voting score – for a change – on the gay marriage question, but despite an all-Ireland position it certainly wasn’t to be seen voting for Sinn Fein’s Marie Stopes motion.

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  23. carl marks (profile) says:

    Strange set of posts there from Abucs, the one from lifesitenews ( a propaganda site for the anti choice movement)quotes a piece of research but strangely does not as far as i can see actually tell us the title of the research or the names of the people who carried it out, thus we cannot check it ourselves.
    In view of some of the, shall we be polite and say misinformation about (on another thread a poster claimed that 100’s of Canadian pastors where imprisoned for anti gay statements it turned out it was one guy and only overnight) I’m afraid that I’m only accepting info that I can verify myself.
    The rest inform us that Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world, hardly news, one tells us that the Russian population is “expected “ to drop by 0.5-o.7 percent between now and 2080 hardly
    “This has put Russia’s population into a tailspin and threatened its civilisation.” That abucs claimed.
    Why is it that the anti choice lobby feel that the only way they can get their case across is with wild claims and horror stories, and why have none answered my questions on their attitude to contraception and how they believe society should deal with unmarried mothers.

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  24. carl marks (profile) says:

    Framer
    all our polticians have a lot of questions to answer!

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  25. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    abucs,

    Making rape, theft and murder illegal also doesn’t stop any of that.

    Setting aside for the moment the ridiculousness of comparing a woman who obtains an abortion one week into a pregnancy with a murderer – it is not possible to simply travel to a neighbouring jurisdiction where rape, theft and murder are legal. As such, banning abortion here has no effect on reducing the incidence of it.

    I thought such a thing was obvious, otherwise our jails would be empty. What mental block are you referring to?

    The idea that a single abortion is prevented by it being illegal on this island.

    Comrade, at one stage Russia had more than 2 abortions for every live birth. Apart from the moral question of life, this has put Russia’s population into a tailspin and threatened its civilisation.

    But that line of argument is obviously false. Abortion is legal nearly everywhere – why hasn’t civilization collapsed ? Why aren’t we facing certain doom ?

    Why are you trying to argue that life in an authoritarian, communist state with all kinds of social problems swept under the carpet is somehow representative of what could happen in a modern Western democracy ?

    To your question of whether the state should ban contraception and pass legislation which put women in a permanent role as servant, limited to propagation of the species……

    Where do these questions come from? Have i even hinted at such a thing or did you run out of sensible things to say?

    The question comes from your contention that women not getting pregnant is damaging to society and civilization. Compared with the availability of safe and reliable contraception, abortion accounts for only a small part of the levelling off in the birth rate. The logic of your argument is that contraception should be banned in order to stop society from destroying itself over a falling birth rate. No ?

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  26. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    carl marks,

    As you say, and as I asked earlier – why indeed do those arguing the pro life case feel the need to exaggerate and spread lies ? Is it because they’re afraid that the truth isn’t compelling enough to persuade people of their case ?

    Framer:

    There remains another element that John O’Neill doesn’t delve into and that is the attitude of the Alliance Party on equal marriage and the SDLP on abortion.
    In the case of Alliance which has a policy of gay marriage only one of their eight MLAs could bring themselves to vote for the Sinn Fein motion (Anna Lo).

    The Alliance Party leadership attempted to solve the problem of dissent within the assembly group by introducing an amendment, which was supported by SF and the SDLP and which better reflected the party policy, namely to ensure that the rights of religions are protected. That amendment did not pass and shamefully some members of the assembly group did not support it.

    Some of the Alliance MLAs who abstained on the main motion claimed to do so on the basis that it did not build in protections for religions, and that it was a motion that was not within the competence of the assembly. I don’t really accept either argument (the Speaker ruled the motion competent) but hey.

    The SDLP did manage a good voting score – for a change – on the gay marriage question, but despite an all-Ireland position it certainly wasn’t to be seen voting for Sinn Fein’s Marie Stopes motion.

    Sinn Féin didn’t move a Marie Stopes motion ? And SDLP and DUP MLA attempted to move an amendment to the justice bill, which SF helped to defeat.

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  27. abucs (profile) says:

    “Making rape, theft and murder illegal also doesn’t stop any of that.”

    The point is quite obvious Comrade. Making something illegal doesn’t stop it. This was in response to your line.

    ……. “the trouble is that making abortion illegal won’t stop it. Is there some sort of mental block with some people that prevents them from understanding this ? …….

    My comment makes no connection between the moral similarities or otherwise of people having abortions and those that are jailed for murder, theft or rape. It points out that there is no mental block to something so obvious. That is, that making something illegal does not stop it. To think that both you and CM make the incorrect connection is bizzare.

    What you then do to explain your ‘mental block’ comment in a later post, is to propose that making abortion illegal does not reduce the number of abortions by even one. There is a difference in your claims. The first that illegality doesn’t stop it (agreed, no mental block there). The second that the number of abortions will remain the same whether it is legal or not. This i disagree with very strongly.

    I pointed to Russia who brought in abortions nearly 100 years ago and the catastrophic demography that country has had and how it threatened it’s civilisation.

    (English lesson to CM – ‘brought’, ‘had’, ‘threatened’ – all the words are past tense. Pointing to present figures does not contradict what was said).

    When a state sponsors abortion and underwrites it as morally acceptable, there is an obvious take up by citizens in abortion. Because Russia brought it in first (pioneering progressives as they were) we saw a cultural acceptance of abortion and a rise in the numbers. Pretty common sense stuff. They have sufferred because of that.

    Yes, contraception can be a factor in bringing the abortion rate down (although it is still about a million babies a year).

    Another factor has been a strong pro life Christian movement in Russia in recent years. This is especially so since the fall of the Berlin wall when we see the number of abortions start to fall. One of my posts which has been allowed points to that. Another of my posts (still awaiting moderation) points to the constant Christian rebellion in Russia of abortion and their affects in Russian society.

    This Christian pro-life movement has also now been supported by the state which has learnt that its 100 years old ‘exported socialist progressiveness’ is severely deficient and not on the right side of history after all.

    Something that many in the west who imported this nonsense decades ago have yet to realise.

    Lastly, of course women not getting pregnant in huge numbers is detrimental to society. You could say men not making women pregnant in huge numbers is equally detrimental to society.

    The logic of your assertion about what my opinion should be would then translate into ‘laws should be passed to cast men in a permanent role as servants of the nation whose role is limited to propagation of the species ?

    This is obviously an absurdity. Your assertions about my position are not only incorrect and insulting, they point to a breakdown in logical debate.

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  28. GEF (profile) says:

    Irish PM Enda Kenny hits back at Catholic Church threat to excommunicate TDs who voted for abortion legislation

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/irish-pm-enda-kenny-hits-back-at-catholic-church-threat-to-excommunicate-tds-who-voted-for-abortion-legislation-29246317.html

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  29. Ní Dhuibhir (profile) says:

    Slugger’s apparent gender balance problem looks especially weird in these abortion threads. I’m not saying it’s something men shouldn’t express a view on – it’s a human rights issue whatever way you look at it – but the voices missing from these conversations are some pretty important ones.

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  30. carl marks (profile) says:

    abucs
    (English lesson to CM – ‘brought’, ‘had’, ‘threatened’ – all the words are past tense. Pointing to present figures does not contradict what was said).

    Thank you for the English grammar lesson,
    I shall return the favour with a history lesson,
    The only time that Russian civilisation and culture was under threat was during the Great patriotic war (since you seem to be unaware of Russian history you would call this the Second World War) when millions died and the country was in danger of being taken over by the Nazis, but a always open to new knowledge perhaps you could point me at the period to which you refer, i will need facts (not those propaganda websites you linked to earlier) I’m sure that historians will also be interested in this as i have never read or heard a proper historian (one who doesn’t make things up to suit his agenda) mention abortion or birth control as a threat ever to Civilisation Russian or otherwise, if you could prove your wild claims then there could well be a doctorate in it for you !
    I glad that you felt able to return does this mean that you recognise your paranoia about slugger censoring you was just that, paranoia.
    Although i am a bit surprised that a man such as you with such deep Christian principals could not keep his word!
    OK that’s another two posts that have been stuck for half a day in moderation.
    I’ll take the hint and go to sites that allow speedy debate, free from its own bias.”

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  31. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Yes Ni Dhuibhir – I’d like to see this issue temporarily removed from the mans sphere of influence…as we surely cannot appreciate what it might be like to have an unwanted pregnancy and all the unncessessary dufficulties as a result of an enforced pregnancy and child birth. I can hear many screaming “she wasnt forced to have sex in the first place” but then if she was, that would not matter much to the prolifers.

    Many pro-lifers will congratulate themselves if they can force an unwanted pregancy to come to fruition resutling in a new human on the planet. Little regard is made for the emotional needs of the reluctant mother and the child, whether she chooses to rear the child or serve it up for adoption. I’d like to avoid this tragedy as early as possible during the gestation.

    I think its time for males to withhold their participation in this debate so we can get a true measure from the side of the community that are mostly affected by this physically and emotionally.

    Dont think I am discounting the fact that males can be emotionally affected however relatively speaking it is irrelevant.

    I am hopeful that attitudes will change on this. I also believe that the EU will kick in on this is EU member states fail to legislate on this matter sensibly and urgently.

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  32. Ní Dhuibhir (profile) says:

    That would be an interesting temporary measure Barney T, but in the long term we need more women participating in mainstream/’malestream’ political forums, from wee sites like this to parliaments. Abortion will always be a political issue, and will always disproportionately affect women, so it makes the wider problem of ‘politics’ being imagined as a man’s game particularly visible.

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  33. abucs (profile) says:

    CM,

    we have had two leaders of Russia/USSR who have moved against abortion because of its detrimental affect on society.

    The first was Stalin in 1936 and the other is the present leader Putin under whom the demographic outlook has started to improve.

    In addition to this, in 2005 the United Nations projections for the Russian population for 2050 would be that it would fall by a third from 143 million down to 104 million.

    Falling by a third (with those remaining being top heavy with the elderly) is on a par with the social destruction Ireland went through after the Great famine.

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  34. abucs (profile) says:

    In the west our native populations are also on a downward spiral. This has serious consequences for the continuation of the welfare state. Many countries in the west do not notice this as much because they bring in millions of migrants every year. If this stopped then we would face the financial penalties much earlier than we are going to.

    Take Japan for example, where recently the number of ‘nappies for the elderly’ was greater than ‘nappies for babies’ for the first time. Japan is a country with Western levels of fertility but who do not have mass immigration. Their economy has been stagnant for decades.

    The stock market is less than a third of what it was 20 years ago.

    I do not know enough about the Japanese case to say that abortion is a major factor. I am raising it to show the problems of low fertility on the economy. I know that in Japan there have been moves to make abortion illegal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/26/japanese-politician-wants-to-boost-the-national-birthrate-by-banning-abortion/

    It is also interesting that although abortion is limited in Japan to cases of rape and mental health, there is still hundreds of thousands of abortions each year.

    This supports my earlier post which claimed that if the laws allowing abortion for mental health are not stringent, then there would be de-facto abortion through the back door.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Japan

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  35. carl marks (profile) says:

    abucs
    This is strange, one of the sites you linked to earlier predicted that the population of Russia would fall be between 0.5-0.7 per cent between now and 2080 now you tell us that the UN predicts a thirty per cent fall and did you not tell me you where referring to the past tense (your strange English lesson) now you claim it is in the future? Many contradictions there.
    I can find no reference to your claim that the population of Russia is predicted to fall by 1/3 between now and 2050 could you provide a link, i am beginning to suspect that this statistic is as valid as your 100’s of Canadian pastors locked up claim (complete nonsense), finally could you please (how many times must i ask) provide the details (verifiable) of how abortion is responsible or was responsible for threatening the collapse of Russian or any other civilisation.
    Where is the data? If it was in the past give my dates when the population was declining at such a rate that society was going to fall apart and how was this collapse avoided (again dates and action taken) how then if abortion was the cause and the abortion laws did not change how was the whole thing avoided ,
    Your argument would be better served if you stuck to facts and stayed well away from flights of fancy, this is slugger people will check up on your claims, it is better if you don’t use unfounded propaganda as you will be quickly found out,

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  36. wee buns (profile) says:

    Without having time right now go into various sources, the decline in fertility is connected more to factors such as drugging (particularly long-term use of contraceptives but also wide range of other medications are being discovered to have a detrimental effect on fertility) and pollution or toxicity of which there is an increasingly wide exposure to (e.g. plastics ingested causes infertility in shellfish)

    As stated on John’s thread, the pro-unborn life campaign is made up from highly ideological people. Practicalities and realities, they generally don’t wish to discuss.

    For example – not just the demand for abortion (conservative estimate 4000 citizens per yr in the south) .by women who, for a very wide number of complex reasons, avail of it – but in the instance of those abortions being unavailable, the ‘unwanted’ children (conservative estimate 4000 per yr) who require proper care.

    Perhaps the reason for ignoring such messy realities is that it interferes with pro-unborn-life movement’s ideology – it’s ultimate desire nOT being for the welfare of children – but for purity. To hold Ireland up as an unstained snowy sheet in a world of sin – an unobtainable desire – needless to say.

    Although it can’t be denied that some women do use abortion as a form of contraceptive, most women do not like abortion and hence do not use it lightly, if at all. That’s my experience, which can’t be backed by research because it doesn’t exist – I mean why spend money asking women about their needs and motivations?

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  37. carl marks (profile) says:

    wee buns

    I’m afraid I have to agree with you, for the last few days i have been trying to pin down the facts behind some very weird claims for which no evidence whatsoever has been produced.
    One gets the feeling that these people are fed “facts” by websites and groups who are more interested in propaganda and are quite willing to accept any oul nonsense as fact.
    We seem to be getting a lot of: if we allow abortion the world will end: crap, along with personal insults thrown in for anybody who asks awkward questions (like asking them to prove what they claim) this has long been a tactic of the prolife lobby.
    However i am convinced that within a few years the right of women to decide as regards abortions will become law north and south of the border,

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  38. carl marks (profile) says:

    abucs
    Take Japan for example, where recently the number of ‘nappies for the elderly’ was greater than ‘nappies for babies’ for the first time. Japan is a
    country with Western levels of fertility but who do not have mass immigration. Their economy has been stagnant for decades.
    The stock market is less than a third of what it was 20 years ago.
    Simply not true, the link below will show that the Japanese stock market was sitting at 16000 20 years ago and now sits at 14000 that is .87% not a third which is 33% again please check your facts ,
    We are back to the 100’s of pastors land!

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/charts/japan-stock-market.png?s=nky&d1=19930101&d2=20130531

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  39. abucs (profile) says:

    You ask for evidence of a threat to Russia’s civilisation and i point to a study by the UN which was delivered in 2005 which said if things do not change then Russia’s population could go down by about a third in the next 45 years.

    You cannot do any more than that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

    Assertions that any attempt to point to abortion as a factor are ideological and not in accordance with reality are unfounded.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/ab-russia.html

    If you look at the statistics in the 5 years before the 2005 study the number of abortions was running at around 2 million a year.

    The overall Russian population was then losing hundreds of thousands of people a year. Of course abortion was a factor. There is no way you can credibly claim that the abortion rate was insignificant with regards to population decrease.

    Since that 5 year period 2000 – 2005, the number of abortions has since steadily fallen from 2 million to just over one million with the latest corresponding statistics showing an annual steady increase in the overall Russian population of a few hundred thousand per year.

    To claim that these figures are in no way related is breathtaking.

    As far as Japans stock market goes, yes there has been a recent rally, you are correct there. If we look at the historical period from 1990 through the 20 years to 2010 the market went from 38,000 down to under 10,000 which was much greater than even the 2/3rd fall that i mentioned.

    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=nikkei+historical+chart&sa=X&hl=en&biw=1596&bih=723&tbm=isch&tbnid=BBiU2Ts4zBdm7M:&imgrefurl=http://nicolaspujol.com/838/overlooked-contributor-to-japan-stagflation/&docid=6iv7irQePyqblM&imgurl=http://nicolaspujol.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/nikkei-historical-1984-2010.png&w=755&h=308&ei=o2GLUYuJL4-LlAWo44DoBA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:1,s:0,i:85&iact=rc&dur=1292&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=350&start=0&ndsp=16&tx=147&ty=74

    and

    http://www.google.com.au/search?q=nikkei+historical+chart&sa=X&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=kGGLUafjJcWViAfIiICYAw&ved=0CE0QsAQ&biw=1596&bih=723#imgrc=dMsZkqdM6K4juM%3A%3BUBYyioXip1NBLM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fintmstat.com%252Fexponential-logarithmic-functions%252Fnikkei-225-to-sep2011.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.intmath.com%252Fexponential-logarithmic-functions%252Fdow-jones-industrial-ave-graph.php%3B603%3B317

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  40. abucs (profile) says:

    You ask for evidence of a threat to Russia’s civilisation and i point to a study by the UN which was delivered in 2005 which said if things do not change then Russia’s population could go down by about a third in the next 45 years.

    You cannot do any more than that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

    Assertions that any attempt to point to abortion as a factor are ideological and not in accordance with reality are unfounded.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/ab-russia.html

    If you look at the statistics in the 5 years before the 2005 study the number of abortions was running at around 2 million a year.

    The overall Russian population was then losing hundreds of thousands of people a year. Of course abortion was a factor. There is no way you can credibly claim that the abortion rate was insignificant with regards to population decrease.

    Since that 5 year period 2000 – 2005, the number of abortions has since steadily fallen from 2 million to just over one million with the latest corresponding statistics showing an annual steady increase in the overall Russian population of a few hundred thousand per year.

    To claim that these figures are in no way related is breathtaking.

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  41. abucs (profile) says:

    As far as Japans stock market goes, yes there has been a recent rally, you are correct there. If we look at the historical period from 1990 through the 20 years to 2010 the market went from 38,000 down to under 10,000 which was much greater than even the 2/3rd fall that i mentioned.

    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=nikkei+historical+chart&sa=X&hl=en&biw=1596&bih=723&tbm=isch&tbnid=BBiU2Ts4zBdm7M:&imgrefurl=http://nicolaspujol.com/838/overlooked-contributor-to-japan-stagflation/&docid=6iv7irQePyqblM&imgurl=http://nicolaspujol.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/nikkei-historical-1984-2010.png&w=755&h=308&ei=o2GLUYuJL4-LlAWo44DoBA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:1,s:0,i:85&iact=rc&dur=1292&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=350&start=0&ndsp=16&tx=147&ty=74

    and

    http://www.google.com.au/search?q=nikkei+historical+chart&sa=X&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=kGGLUafjJcWViAfIiICYAw&ved=0CE0QsAQ&biw=1596&bih=723#imgrc=dMsZkqdM6K4juM%3A%3BUBYyioXip1NBLM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fintmstat.com%252Fexponential-logarithmic-functions%252Fnikkei-225-to-sep2011.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.intmath.com%252Fexponential-logarithmic-functions%252Fdow-jones-industrial-ave-graph.php%3B603%3B317

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  42. carl marks (profile) says:

    This is from the site you quoted read it
    The natural population decline continued to slow through 2008—2012 due to declining death rates and increasing birth rates. In 2009 the population saw yearly growth for the first time in 15 years.[6][7] In September 2009, the Ministry of Health and Social Development reported that Russia recorded natural population growth for the first time in 15 years, with 1,000 more births than deaths in August.[30] In April 2011 the Russian Prime Minister (Russian president as of 2012) Vladimir Putin pledged to spend the 1.5 trillion rubles (£32.5 billion or $54 billion) on various measures to boost Russia’s declining birthrate by 30 per cent in the next four years.[31]
    Nowhere does it mention abortion as a contributing factor indeed excessive alcohol intake is blamed.

    Your second post are numbers of abortions carried out but where apart from in your head does it state that it is the cause of any decline in Russian culture or civilisation.
    But enough of this my mother would say that if you argue with a fool he will drag you down to his level, so I’m leaving you to your own little world while I’m still high enough to see the horizon.

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  43. abucs (profile) says:

    Look at the very detailed Russian Historical Abortion Statistics site (above) CM and match that to the yearly Russian population figures.

    Use your brain and don’t expect everything fed to you.

    2 plus 2 is still 4 no matter if you find it on a website or not.

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  44. Starviking (profile) says:

    As far as Japans stock market goes, yes there has been a recent rally, you are correct there. If we look at the historical period from 1990 through the 20 years to 2010 the market went from 38,000 down to under 10,000 which was much greater than even the 2/3rd fall that i mentioned.

    Of course, the peak you mention was just before Japan’s bubble economy burst in the late 80s, and the low is from the “Lehman Shock” that hit the world economy in 2008.

    So, how can you connect that conclusively to abortion?

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  45. Starviking (profile) says:

    Of course, if logic had been applied to Salvita’s case from the start then she could be alive today:

    The foetus was not viable, she was miscarrying – so deliver the baby as soon as possible. If God wants the baby to survive such an early delivery, then it will. If God does not, then it won’t.

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  46. Droch_Bhuachaill (profile) says:

    Mind if I step back awhile from the religious whataboutery and make the following point?

    It is much too simplistic to say that it is only the Christian churches and their followers who appose the introduction of abortion on demand. I myself make my own decisions and don’t look to the men in dresses for guidance, and I think that the level of abortion now legislated for here down south is sufficient. I am neither a rabid pro-lifer or devout pro-choicer. As with all questions on this island the middle grey area doesn’t fit the choice of labels.

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  47. abucs (profile) says:

    Hello Starviking, my post is still in moderation and so i will re-post again in the hope this one will go through.

    …… if you read again the thread you will see that the example of Japan was raised not to argue any particular point about abortion (although i did link to an article on a group trying to stop abortion in Japan).

    It was raised to show the financial problems countries can face when it has a bad demographic outlook (as mentioned in that earlier post).

    Yes, i agree with you that the unsustainable value of the NIKKEI (and Japanese economy more broadly) was based on the bubble.

    Even with a recent rebound in the NIKKEI, it is still sitting at about 36% of the NIKKEI peak more than 20 years ago.

    I did not say (nor am i saying) that the demographic outlook (or abortion) caused the crash, but i believe it is reasonable to point out, the demographically elderly population of Japan is hindering its quest to return to a booming economy.

    It was stagnant for years and has now to face the serious prospect of an increasingly shrinking labour force and a very fast expanding elderly citizen population.

    To quote from the wiki link below :

    …………’ The Japanese Health Ministry estimates the nation’s total population will decrease by 25% from 127.8 million in 2005 to 95.2 million by 2050. Japan’s elderly population, aged 65 or older, comprised 20% of the nation’s population in June 2006, a percentage that is forecast to increase to 38% by 2055………… ‘

    Now the wikipedia article does mention that low birth rates are a major factor with condom and abortion being the main forms of birth control.

    But as I stated in my original post, i do not know enough about Japan to say that abortion is a major factor in its demographic problem.

    In fact, looking at the figures for abortion in Japan they no not look to conclusively point to abortion as a main factor (Russia is a different story). The case of Japan was raised for other purposes as stated above and in the original post.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan

    http://www.agingworkforcenews.com/2012/02/japan.html

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  48. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    abucs,

    The overall Russian population was then losing hundreds of thousands of people a year. Of course abortion was a factor. There is no way you can credibly claim that the abortion rate was insignificant with regards to population decrease.

    Yes I can.

    Abortion is legal everywhere. Why single out Russia as an example ? Is it because the statistics regarding abortion in other countries don’t support the same conclusion ?

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  49. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    And stop me if I’m reading this wrong, but according to your own numbers Russia’s population rate was climbing most rapidly when its abortion rate was at its peak in the 1950-60s ?

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  50. abucs (profile) says:

    I would suggest a couple of things might have happened.

    After the war i believe, like many countries, there was an abnormally high spike in the birth rates.

    Also, the age structure of the Russian population in the 1950′s and 1960′s was likely much younger and thus was strong enough to have a higher abortion rate and not go into a decrease in overall population. As the demographic situation got progressively worse towards the end of the century then it was no longer of a healthy enough structure to withstand such pressures.

    With the other point i would say that just about all of the West masks the natural increase/(decrease) demographic problems they have, with very high levels of immigration. If that did not happen then we would see similar demographic problems.

    Even with mass immigration of young people into the EU we are still told that the West is facing huge problems with the welfare state and the greying of the population.

    Without the mass immigration the European populations would go into decline. Then the millions of abortions (and its moral acceptability) would become much more significant and recognisable in helping drive that decline.

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  51. DC (profile) says:

    Without the mass immigration the European populations would go into decline.

    And ask yourself why might this be, the low birth rate by westerners?

    Below i will focus on EU migration and EU accession states and immigration in britain.

    Isn’t it the case that a section of the western population hold off from having children due to the costs, having children is prohibitively expensive for those – prob the largest cohort of the UK population – already working at beneath the average UK income level. So having children could or would imperil existing family income and therefore in quality of life terms would actually be a qualitatively negative thing to do or to have happen, unless they can get better paid work which is scarce. And maybe that is in part a selfish character trait of citizens living in a western capitalist society, not wanting to have children in the knowledge that personal lifestyle may tank or tailspin?

    Whereas – in contrast – eastern europeans for instance know that what a westerner views as a below average wage and impoverished lifestyle is for them still a big step up from their perceived or actual shitehole, which they have been living in and experiencing. They are prepared to trade a life in an eastern european shithole for that of producing kids in the uk because regardless of whether they in the end become as impoverished a family as that of a UK family would-be if they instead had children on the bread line, the eastern europeans believe they have gained a better lifestyle, this is a feel good factor – which is not experienced by those british families with a long history of british lifestyle and society. EU migrants get to experience better schools, better public services and a better society with better freedoms etc, all of this is standard fare for british citizens.

    From the british citizen’s / westerners’ point of view, where could he or she go in the EU to clean toilets for amounts more than 10 times he or she would get at back home here in the UK/Belfast? Nowhere!

    Children or lack of – is a psychological thing i reckon, UK couples are wary of impoverishing themselves and their would-be family, whereas such is the relative poverty in eastern europe, a move to britain and sharing in its relative economic decline, is still a positive step up experience: it’s a tale of two different realities with the bread line still being the same outcome for both in the end.

    The mass immigration effect – like coming to terms with being hit by a confidence trick – will eventually hit the reality buffers, just like large parts of the western population has already hit. It is the realisation that the british economy, its income, is only providing just about enough money for large parts of its populace to tread water – and its not enough to produce big happy contented families. So the powers that be don’t want to pay more out and realise that in not doing so that they can’t tempt the existing populace to work for shitty wages, they instead ‘trick in’ third world citizens on the basis of ‘access’, access to a better quality of life – which UK citizens already have access to.

    Structural inequalities in the british economy which if addressed would negate the need for encouraging developing world migration into the developed world in order to plug min wage jobs.

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  52. abucs (profile) says:

    DC, i think you make some good points.

    I agree that mass immigration is masking many of the failures of Western government structural social policies as you have suggested.

    I travel in many Asian countries who are doing it the other way around. They do not have policies that cause a structural failure in society and they are gradually developing economically. No doubt many of their current corresponding economic performances are not yet on a par with Europe, but they are catching up extremely fast. Some have started to go past Europe though most are still behind.

    Capitals of Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul Taipei and Jakarta have come from nowhere in the last 40 years to be the modern blueprint for their respective countries which governments are rolling out across each country where possible.

    Perhaps their approach, like that of the tortoise, is the best one in the end and something Europe will have to revisit.

    Perhaps many of the social policy changes that were introduced into Europe from the 1960′s onwards were done from a position of relative economic dominance which afforded a degree of affordability.

    Perhaps they should now be seriously questioned.

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  53. DC (profile) says:

    Perhaps they should be abucs, maybe like any policy they need revised every once in a while and indeed managed better to fit the circumstances. But what do you have in mind exactly?

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  54. abucs (profile) says:

    Hi DC,

    i am not the best to have a say on politics.

    I’d suggest the West in general (with Ireland perhaps the least) has a masked demographic problem that needs to be fixed. This will at some point be painful to put right.

    Government is all about discrimination. that is discriminating in favour of one group and discriminating against another. The question is who should the government discriminate in favour of arouses deep passions?

    Growing up on the left it was an easy answer. Discriminate against the (relative) rich and give it to the (relative) poor. I am not convinced now that the state is a good model for that.

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  55. abucs (profile) says:

    i think the state needs to deliberately empower organisations and be a facilitator rather than the monolith of law, morality, discrimination and safety net.

    We need to empower organisations that will have a passion for fixing problems and at the same time create strong communities. Obviously i think the Church is a big part of that, so too are trade unions, sporting bodies, schools etc etc.

    We want to inspire people of passion who will go out and perform charity, start schools, hospitals, universities, businesses etc. We don’t want to inspire people to be overpaid Brussels bureaucrats shuffling money from one group to another as the money slowly runs out.

    We need to discriminate in favour of European businesses but at the same time make sure they are not a law unto themselves and relocate offshore.

    That means a rethink on ‘rights’ we give to people and more of a concentration on community responsibilities. I think we have to have government favour families with children and look to create and support businesses.

    We should make housing affordability a priority.

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  56. CW (profile) says:

    “Asking Ulster to join Eire is like asking Florida to join Guatamala” (sic)

    In that case then, as far as the inhabitants of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal are concerned, one third of Florida is already part of Guatemala.

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  57. abucs (profile) says:

    We should also look at the family. Europe in general has become more individualistic. A change in the last 50 years is that much more households have become 2 income. This can be presented as a freedom and in some ways it obviously is. But we do not want to get to the situation where both parents (or increasingly non parents in Europe), with a very high mortgage are virtual working slaves trying to pay off a few bricks and mortar for the best part of their lives instead of participating in a rich family and community life.

    Two incomes has definitely meant that we are richer but it also means house prices and common goods inevitably go higher and family/community life suffers. With a fall off in birth rates many western countries have had to import foreigners to keep the illusion of sustainable living standards (underwritten by the state) going. This has further weakened community solidarity.

    Perhaps it is a matter of what is important to people. For the last few decades in Europe culture and community seems to have taken a back step to economics and individualism. I think the lower birth rates and increased work participation was a boon which allowed a massive state to be set up and underwrite ‘created rights’. I think that boon was temporary and we are on the other side of it now with the realisation that it is unsustainable in the long term.

    This has meant many now are forced to work hard and delay/forgo families in order to pay for an unsustainable state program. We have also been encouraged to look to the state (who collects all the money) and not look to ourselves/our neighbours / our community groups. We might ask in the long run where does individualism and temporary economic boons get us.

    So to conclude this rather hastily thought out rant, i would discriminate in government towards commitment rather than entitlement or ‘created rights’.

    I would discriminate in favour of families who show commitment to children, businesses that must demonstrate commitment to the Irish population, and a plethora of community groups that show commitment to education/charity/culture/fun etc.

    I would take the pain of massively reducing immigration, i would look to keep inflation down and curb rises in house prices, and i would look to form policy on a family basis more than an individual basis.

    And underpinning this i would look to remove the state as the underwriter of rights as in the end it is not affordable and will crash. I would encourage people to look towards community groups that encourage and demonstrate a membership of community volunteering which builds local infrastructure.

    This is a scary step for a lot of people but if you look at the Eastern Europe that you mentioned previously, that is where the idea of state dominating utopia ends up.

    In short, the state should discriminate in favour of groups who show commitment to Irish society. It must look to be a facilitator that creates strong independent communities and not the sole underwriting dominator that needs to tax families and import workers to keep the illusion running until it breaks.

    As i mentioned at the start, these are just my unprofessional thoughts.

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  58. carl marks (profile) says:

    abucs
    “As i mentioned at the start, these are just my unprofessional thoughts.”

    Aw the truth at last!

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  59. Starviking (profile) says:

    abucs

    Hello Starviking, my post is still in moderation and so i will re-post again in the hope this one will go through.

    …… if you read again the thread you will see that the example of Japan was raised not to argue any particular point about abortion (although i did link to an article on a group trying to stop abortion in Japan).

    It was raised to show the financial problems countries can face when it has a bad demographic outlook (as mentioned in that earlier post).

    Whilst it is true that we are facing a demographic crisis in Japan, this doesn’t seem to be reflected in current economic data. You can check GDP Per Capita on Google Data, and what you find is that the US – with a growing population, tracks Japan pretty well:

    http://www.google.co.uk/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_kd&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:JPN:USA&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false

    It is something that needs to be addressed comprehensively, as it will have a greater effect on productivity, but Japan is currently incapable of making any solid decisions on counteracting the age disparity in its population

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