Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

Excuse me, Madam Speaker worker refers them to the public services for

which they qualify.


I came at the invitation of some of
By Jennifer Roback Morse
the Board members to talk with the girls
about sex. Their social worker wanted me to
Nancy Pelosi made Stupid History
help them think about having a plan for
by her claim that “family planning” funds
dealing with the desires they are sure to have
will stimulate the economy. Her argument, if
for another relationship with a man. Neither
you can dignify it with that term, is that
I nor the social worker had any illusion that
reducing unwanted pregnancies will reduce
one chat in an afternoon will change the
the burden on the taxpayers. But she doesn’t
whole course of their lives. But we do hope
ask herself whether more contraception is
that we gave them a few thoughts that will
really the answer to “unwanted”
lodge in their brains when they need them
pregnancies.
later.
I recently had the opportunity to visit
So we talked about their hopes and
with some teen mothers in Reno, Nevada.
dreams for their babies. These young
Casa de Vida is a private, nonprofit
women want to be good mothers, and they
corporation providing a home and support
want to be loved. Right now, they are
services for pregnant young women. The
focused on the immediate fact that their
youngest was 14; the oldest was just twenty.
babies will be born soon. I tried to help them
These are presumably the mothers whose
think about their futures beyond the birth of
pregnancies are expensive to the taxpayers.
their babies. One day, they will be interested
These young unmarried mothers need a
in boys again. Their social worker had told
variety of social services in order to take
me that a) most of them won’t even consider
care of their babies. The Casa has a special
adoption and b) most of them will be
classroom set up in their basement, so the
pregnant again within two years.
girls can finish high school. Some will be
Talking with them helped me to see
unable to go back to their families for a
why the whole contraception approach to
variety of reasons and will need subsidized
avoiding teen pregnancy is so hopeless.
housing. Many take advantage of jobs
These girls get pregnant because they want
training programs. And of course, virtually
to: they want to be loved by their
none of them have their own health
boyfriends, and by their babies.
insurance, so the taxpayers pay for medical
Contraception is notoriously unreliable
care for the mothers and babies. The social
among teens. Even among women seeking
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078
www.jennifer-roback-morse.com • email: drj@jennifer-roback-morse.com • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.
abortions, who you might think would be thereby, to taxpayer expenditure. A recent
especially motivated to avoid pregnancy, study by the Institute for American Values
53% were using some form of contraception conservatively estimated the taxpayer costs
at the time they conceived.1 Passing out pills of non-marital childbearing to be $112
or promising abortions doesn’t deal with the billion per year, or roughly the GDP of New
underlying desires that are driving their Zealand.2 Responsible, sustainable
behavior. childbearing takes place within marriage.
Social worker Paula Crandall and And incidentally, if Speaker Pelosi really
Casa de Vida Board Member Kathleen Rossi wants to reduce abortions (which she hinted
told me that sometimes, the Casa turns out at, but did not say) she should also be
to be the best thing that ever happened to the promoting marriage. Some 80% of
girls. Some of them are able to develop a abortions, year in and year out, are
sense of their own worth as persons. They performed on unmarried women. 3
get adult assistance in the ordinary problems Having babies, raising them to
of living, such as finishing high school, responsible adulthood is a significant social
applying for jobs, looking for an apartment investment. If the family around the child
and so on. For some of them, the staff breaks down or never forms in the first
members at the Casa are the first adults who place, the odds of the child being raised to
have taken a real interest in them, and who responsible adulthood are greatly reduced.
have the means to really help them with These young girls are having babies, not
these basic skills. No amount of because their contraception has failed, not
“comprehensive sex education” or “access because they don’t know how to use
to reproductive health” can meet these very contraception. They are having babies
deep-seated human needs. because they want to be loved. If Nancy
If Nancy Pelosi wants to reduce the
2
costs to taxpayers, she should be promoting The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed
Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation
marriage. Out of wedlock child-bearing is
and for All Fifty States, Benjamin Scafidi, Principal
one of the surest roads to poverty and
Investigator, (New York: Institute for American
1
Values, 2008).
“Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having
3
Abortions in 2000-2001,” Rachel K. Jones, Jacqueline MMWR: Abortion Surveillance—United States,
E. Darroch and Stanley K. Henshaw, Perspectives on 2004, Center for Disease Control, Surveillance
Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, 34(6):294- Summaries, November 23, 2007/ 56 (ss09) 1-33,
303. Table 1.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078
www.jennifer-roback-morse.com • email: drj@jennifer-roback-morse.com • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.
Pelosi wants to save the taxpayer some
money in the long run, she needs to stop
investing in irresponsible sex, and start
investing in responsible adult supervision
and guidance of the young.
I’m not holding my breath.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is an


economist and the Founder and President of
the Ruth Institute, a nonprofit educational
organization devoted to bringing hope and
encouragement for lifelong married love.
She is also the author of Love and
Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a
Village and Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long
Love in a Hook-Up World.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078
www.jennifer-roback-morse.com • email: drj@jennifer-roback-morse.com • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.