Last month, comedian and Real Time host Bill Maher made comments about abortion that shocked those on both sides of the issue. First, he shocked the audience by, in a sense, defending pro-lifers, of which he is certainly not one. According to Maher, liberals need to stop misconstruing pro-lifers as hating women because they don’t. Rather, pro-lifers, he said, think that abortion should be illegal because they think it is murder, and he stated, “It kind of is.”  

And if viewers and guests thought his comments could not get more shocking, he then added 

I’m just okay with that. I am. I mean there’s 8 billion people in the world. I’m sorry. We won’t miss you. That’s my position on that. 

To which liberal commentator Pierce Morgan, one of Maher’s guests, gasped, “That’s quite harsh.” 

Maher’s comments are as damning as they are telling, and not only for him but the abortion movement overall. Unlike those who deny that abortion takes an innocent life, Maher acknowledged and owned what science, philosophy, ethics, and the Bible clearly tells us. The difference, however, is that for Maher, murder is permissible if done in the interest of reducing the population.  

This view is, of course, not new. The concerns that there are too many people on a planet with limited resources and that some of these people are not “fit” to reproduce” have long driven abortion advocates. In 2009, late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who supported the court’s historic decision in Roe v. Wadetold The New York Times: 

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. 

The concern about population growth and the management of undesirable populations is better known as eugenics. Abortion has deep roots in the eugenics movement, especially a la Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Although Sanger disliked abortion, she advocated for birth control and forced sterilizations of “undesirable” population groups. Today, abortion is the primary business model of the organization she founded. 

Historically speaking, abortion was not about “women’s reproductive rights.” It was about eugenics. Maher’s comments simply reiterate this. Sadly, Maher is not an outlier. Today, a growing number of young people say that they are worried about having babies because of population growth and climate change. According to a Free Press article by Suzy Weiss, concerns about climate change are a primary driver of childlessness among members of Gen Z. A 2021 poll found that 39% of Gen Zers are reluctant to have kids due to fears of an impending climate catastrophe.  

In fact, in addition to justifying abortion, concerns about overpopulation and climate change are leading to an increase in voluntary sterilizations. Recent research has found that post-Dobbs, the number of 18-to-30-year-old Americans—of both sexes—pursuing “permanent contraception” procedures has jumped drastically. For every 100,000 women, the number of sterilization procedures per month jumped by over 20%. The month immediately following Dobbs, there was over a 50% increase in sterilization procedures for men.  

Voluntary sterilization is driven by the same “eugenics” mindset as abortion. The active resistance to bringing children into the world is the inverse of the willingness to take pre-born children out of the womb. Both are fundamentally opposed to the gift of life in the name of overpopulation and climate change concerns.  

Contrary to this anti-natalist mindset, Christians believe that children are a gift of God and that, as a recent statement of Evangelicals and Catholics Together put it, “how a society treats children is a vital sign of its health”: 

Do we desire them? Welcome them? Do we honor parents and champion their vocations as the primary caregivers, teachers, and mentors of children? Are the basic institutions of our society, including corporations and other places of employment, properly attentive to the care of children and the flourishing of family life? Are government policies oriented to the wellbeing of children? Do our churches support marriage? Are we clear and persistent in our proclamation of the Bible’s sexual norms affirming the fruitfulness of the conjugal union and the joy and responsibilities of family life? 

These are important questions for anyone who cares about the future. 

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Hayden. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to 

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sofiia Petrova
Publish Date: May 9, 2024

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.