“Windsor is in the midst of an unprecedented baby boom, with a 14 per cent increase in births, bucking a national trend which saw [over] 5,000 fewer babies born in Canada this year.”

So read the opening paragraph of a front-page Windsor Star article on December 6, 2000, which proudly proclaimed the city of Windsor, Ontario as Canada’s newest “(baby) boom town.”

While it is no secret to most that Canada’s national birthrate has been on the decline for many years – due in large part to the 100,000-plus abortions now being committed each year – Windsor, with a core population of around 200,000, has been experiencing economic good times for at least three or four years, with high-paying jobs in the automotive sector and low unemployment. It is this factor, say analysts, along with the desire for a so-called “millennium baby” – the wish for a child born in the first year of the new century – which is the driving force behind the decision by so many young couples to start a family. The boom in births has also been supported by an increased number of twins and triplets.

While there has been no significant change in the number of abortions in Windsor hospitals in recent years and pro-life leaders are modestly hesitant to claim any credit for the recent baby boom, the eventual release of local abortion figures for the year 2000 may signal a turning point in the community’s struggle to spread to the message of life.

While acknowledging a vibrant economy as one the driving forces behind the recent boom, Dr. Jerome Brown, a founding member of the Pro-Life Social Action Committee of Windsor, emphasized the need to look beyond the economy itself to other associated factors.

“The booming economy frees up” a lot of couples in Windsor from having to be weighed down with two jobs, says Brown, an internationally-renowned scholar and former philosophy professor at the University of Windsor. Couples in Windsor “can live for considerably less” than in other Canadian cities where the cost of living virtually demands a two-income family.

According to Brown, there appears to be a lot more women at home with young children than there were perhaps five or 10 years ago. Brown believes that “many have tried daycare,” have “done the mathematics,” and have realized the cost/benefit ratio just does not add up for a lot of them, especially in those situations where a woman is supplementing her husband’s income with a relatively low-paying job.

“They’ve [the women] realized the awful struggle of trying to do two jobs [childrearing and working outside the home] and finding little financial or psychological rewards.” Brown adds that there are also “professional women” who have “done the daycare routine” and have come to the conclusion that “it’s just not worth it.”

Asked if the pro-life community in Windsor has been doing anything in particular which might account for the increase in births, Beryl Caves, founder and president of Windsor Right to Life, was careful not to claim any credit.

“We would like to think the message gets out,” says Caves. “Maybe we reach more people than we think.”

For Caves, who has sacrificed so much for the pro-life cause in this community, the response was typical, but not surprising.