Thursday, August 16, 2007

Russia has Day of Conception Celebration in attempt to increase birthrate

Liza Kuzetsova has an AP story on page 1 of The Washington Times, Thursday, Aug. 16, “Conception Day rallies patriots to action: Motherland needs mothers” on p A1, print. Sept. 12 will be the “Day of Conception” for the third straight year.

Many media stories, particularly from conservative sources, have reported recently that Russia is having serious problems remaining a reasonable population. Other European countries, such as France, have recently added supports for new mothers, in anticipation of a demographic crisis where there are two few workers (without Muslim immigrants) to support an aging population.

Philip Longman had predicted this crisis in his book “The Empty Cradle,” reviewed here.

The United Nations had produced a story in 2002, here: “Experts Concur: Fertility in Developing Countries May Fall Below Two-Child Family Norm: UN To Incorporate Below Replacement Fertility in 2002 Revision of Official UN Population Estimates, Projections.

Generally, it takes slightly over 2 children per family to maintain population, and many countries have fallen before that. China has tried to control population growth with a punitive one-child per family for years. Developed countries are having trouble maintaining populations because the responsibility for raising children has been perceived as largely owned by the choices of the parents, although that is somewhat debatable.

On Wed. Aug 29, NBC "Nightly News" had a story about nationalism among youth in Russia, with a resurgence of summer camps run by Putin's supporters (chess world champion Gary Kasparov is the liberal opposition), building up to an authoritarian society and the possibility of a new Cold War.

ABC "World News Tonight" on Sept. 12, 2007 ran a story about a Russian Province that celebrated Conception Day by ordering civil servants to stay home from work and try to have babies, and offering prizes or money for babies.

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