Anglican Samizdat

February 2, 2009

Stimulating the economy by not having babies.

Filed under: Politics,The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 3:09 pm
Tags: ,

Some of the money from the economic stimulus package is to fund family planning and contraception. From an ABC interview with Nancy Pelosi:

“The family planning services reduce cost,” Pelosi said, “One of the elements of this package is assistance to the states. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

“So no apologies for that?” I asked her.

“No apologies. No,” Pelosi said. “And this is a, to stimulate the economy,  is an economic recovery package and as we put it forth we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy. Food stamps, unemployment insurance, some of the initiatives you just mentioned. Believe it or not, they’re the right thing to do but they also stimulate the economy.”

I can’t help thinking that this doesn’t live up the egalitarian pretensions of the Democrats. Exactly whose babies will not be born because of state-sponsored contraception? Not the babies of the wealthy or the middle class: they can afford their own rubbers. This is a program directed at the poor; and it may end up saving money since babies of poor families are more likely to need social assistance.

The idea that having babies should be discouraged for economic reasons is bad enough, but this is an attempt to discourage the poor from having babies. It is not a stimulus, but an exercise in social engineering and hypocrisy.



  1. I don’t see it as an exercise in social engineering. It’s true that the money would go to programs that largely serve the poor, but why shouldn’t it? The poor have as much of a right to family planning and contraceptive options as the wealthy who can, as you said, “afford their own rubbers.” The funding wouldn’t have forced anyone to use the family planning services. It simply would have allowed them the options, which they deserve. It’s a service, not a suppression.

    Comment by outspeaking — February 2, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  2. Obama promised that this bill would create jobs through infrastructure projects and have no porkbarrel earmarks. Unfortunately, most financial observers are placing the stimulus portion at about a third of the total package. The other two thirds, while it may be noble, is a grab bag of liberal Democrat wish lists.
    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — February 2, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

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