Women, Get Pregnant: Your Country Needs More Workers

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Women, Get Pregnant: Your Country Needs More Workers

Kathleen Reeves

The economic argument against contraception assumes an unnerving disregard for humanity.

An opinion piece in the Colorado Springs Gazette argues that by funding contraception, our government will bankrupt itself, in effect, by lowering the American birthrate.  

The writer begins the argument with a typical, stale, “Us-vs.-Them” rhetoric. He (I’m going to assume a "he" in this case) tries to build suspicion against the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood, casting them as part of some anti-family super-corporation pulling the strings of the US government. While I wish that Planned Parenthood had enough money to do HIV tests and cancer screenings for every uninsured woman in America, the idea of the organization rolling in dough is, unfortunately, laughable.  

The writer is wary of the usual suspects: the government, the press, both out to degrade our country beyond recognition. But in the course of his argument, which is that we should all be as fruitful as possible to keep our nation brimming with workers, he betrays his contempt for the American people. 

In the model he sketches, children quickly become workers and thus bolster the economy. In the author’s view, the birth of a child is a victory for an economy hungry for workers, but has no effect on a family. In fact, the family, particularly the mother, is conspicuously absent from this picture. Who, exactly, is having these babies? 

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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The economic argument against contraception assumes an unnerving disregard for humanity. The anti-contraception right, who so often professes an interest in families, has no family’s interests at heart when they take steps to deprive needy women of reproductive health care. Yes, our country needs children, but women need to be taken care of so that they remain emotionally and physically healthy now, and so that they may have children down the road, if they so choose.  

But the writer of the piece sees a false divide in policy: either it’s pro-child, or anti-child. In fact, our government can support women who want to have children and women who don’t – at the same time. This is what a successful government does – it supports people in their various choices. In the various European examples he cites – France, for instance, provides reimbursements for – he fails to note that in many of these countries, France chief among them, birth control is heavily subsidized or free.  

In pitting themselves against public funding, these factions are not fighting Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, or “the far-left politicians who control Washington.” They are fighting the American people. In pledging to remain anti-contraception, they are also anti-health, anti-woman, anti-family, and anti-human.