Fox host suggests abortion bans are a policy solution to America's declining birth rates

From the May 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

Video file

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): All right, the nation's birth rate reaching the lowest number in three decades. The CDC also reporting a drop in fertility rates, meaning there are not enough babies being born to replace the previous generation.

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): So what does this mean for American families? Patrice Onwuka is a senior policy analyst with the Independent Women's Forum and she joins us now to weigh in. Good morning to you. 


EARHARDT: Why is this? Why are we seeing the rates go down? 

ONWUKA: Well I think you are seeing, number one, a change in norms. So women are considering when, how, and even if they want to give birth. On the positive side we have more educated women, you know, 40% of women are graduating are college degrees, which is great. But it also means that they're going to delay when they have children. And the later you wait means the fewer children you are able to have. And unfortunately I think the latest trend we are seeing is the question of whether women should even have children. I think we heard [Rep.] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ask is it even ethical for young people to be talking about having children because of climate change. And so she is basing that on some sort of faulty United States -- United Nations statistic, but all of these trends working together I think is leading to, you know, lower birth rates which could have devastating economic impacts in the future. 

KILMEADE: See I've always heard this with Europe. I've obviously heard it in Russia. This is the first time I could remember hearing it that much here. 

ONWUKA: Well yeah, I mean, I think we look at some of these other countries, particularly developed countries where they have low replacement rates, meaning the number of average babies women have over their lifetime that can replace from one generation to another. And so when we have these norms changes, we have increases in abortions, we have increases in contraceptive uses, then it means that we've got a population that's just not sustainable. And when you think about it, not only does that mean, you know, families like mine, I just welcomed a new baby five months ago, but we're not buying cars, we're not building bigger houses. That has an economic impact, but also, our workforce is going to be shrinking and will not be able to sustain the number of retirees we have in the future. 

EARHARDT: With all the abortion laws changing, you saw what happened in Alabama and several states that followed suit. Will we see the numbers go up because more people won't be able to have access to abortions?

ONWUKA: Well we'll see. I mean, I think it's interesting what happens when abortions are outlawed, whether other means pop up for people to provide those. What I do think we need to be talking about as society though is how do we ensure that young women and young families are thinking OK, a career doesn't mean that I shouldn't be able to have a family. Economically we have great jobs growth right now, so that's fantastic. Hopefully women are able to work but still have families. And I think that opens the door to discussions around paid leave. 

KILMEADE: Now, let me ask you something. I know that in China they have limitations, you know, for births and other countries. Could you ever see a national movement towards expanding families and attacking this problem? Could that something to be talked about from Washington? 

ONWUKA: I hope so. I mean, I think we should be a nation that is encouraging people to have families. Whatever they look like, whatever the sizes that they should be. I mean, the economic impact is important. We want to have economic growth. But we also want to know that our communities are vibrant and replenishing themselves. So I would love to see a national campaign that says, hey, if you want to have kids, you should. What we should not be hearing, particularly from the far left, is no, don't have children right now because they're going to die in 12 years. And unfortunately that's what is picking up steam.


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