Yesterday Statistics Canada released a report on “deaths” (life expectancy), the bottom line of which is:

Life expectancy at birth in Canada reached 80.7 years for the three-year period between 2005 and 2007, up from the average of 80.5 between 2004 and 2006, and 78.4 a decade earlier between 1995 and 1997.

Increased life expectancy is good for individuals, but it is not so clear cut for society in general in countries with large, redistributionist welfare programs (health and pensions). This has been widely discussed over the past few years — including a Parliamentary Budget Office report last week — but with a large part of the conversation missing: abortion is seldom mentioned. While women having fewer children is sometimes raised as contributing to the problem of an ageing society, the role of contraception and abortion are almost never acknowledged. Rory Leishman addressed this in the pages of The Interim:

There is no escaping the conclusion that the impending crisis of old-age dependency in Canada cannot be solved without a sharp increase in birthrates. For the past 30 years, Canada’s total fertility rate – the average number of children per woman – has remained far below the replacement level of 2.1. According to Statistics Canada, the current rate is just 1.59 …

However, there is no escaping the truth: Canada is never likely to return to a population-sustaining fertility rate without a substantial cut in the calamitous rate of abortions. At present, nearly 30 Canadian babies are deliberately aborted for every 100 who are born alive.

Many pro-lifers worry that the slaughter of human life at its beginning stages will beget a slaughter at the end as killing off large numbers of elderly to reduce the health care and retirement costs borne by society. I’m not so sure that seniors, who vote at higher rates than the general population, will stand for such a bloody-minded solution to the country’s finances. Another “solution” will be massive taxation and cutbacks in other programs from education to defense. Neither of these are desirable, although even with a large spike in birthrates it will be too late to avert all the pain of our increasingly graying society. But obviously increasing birthrates, through more than daycare subsidies and outright bribery of families, is necessary to arrest the trend of Canada’s ageing population and its consequences. Curtailing of the abortion culture is a prerequisite for the long-term financial health of the country.