Kansas Governor Claims Forcing Pregnancy Upon Women Is Good For The Economy

By Stephen D. Foster Jr. | 17 March 2015
Addicting Info

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Image: Gage Skidmore)

The cost of having children is high and there are more people than there are jobs, but Kansas Governor Sam Brownback insists that forcing women to have babies is good for the economy.

During an interview on Washington Watch with hate group Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Brownback claimed that Kansas’ economy is exploding because he has signed 10 anti-abortion bills into state law.

BROWNBACK: “It’s working. What we want Kansas to be is the best place in America to do two things: raise a family, grow a small business. And we are moving that way. I’ve signed 10 pro-life bills, there’s another one moving through the legislature…”

Perkins responded by heaping praise on Brownback for somehow showing that forcing women to carry pregnancies to term and an improving economy are connected.

PERKINS: “What you’re showing in Kansas is that you can have a pro-family agenda and at the same time a pro-economic growth agenda and the two are not — rather than being mutually exclusive, they are entwined with one another.”

Happy that Perkins willingly stroked his … er … ego, Brownback claimed that the economy is lagging because people are not being forced to form families in this country. People who don’t have kids are only hurting their own financial well-being, he said.

BROWNBACK: “They really support each other. Frankly, one of the big problems we have in the country is we’re not forming enough families. And that is hurting our economic work and hurting our economic projection because the best place for that child is within a strong family. And if you’re not forming a family unit, you are also slowing your economic performance. So, these things really tie together. And I think we really do a disservice politically when we separate them.”

Here’s the audio via Right Wing Watch:

Brownback blatantly ignored his own state’s crumbling economy during the interview. Since eliminating taxes on 191,000 businesses across the state, Kansas now faces a massive budget deficit of $1.1 billion and it’s only getting worse, so much worse that Brownback is trying to plug the budget hole he created by slashing education spending.

Clearly, Brownback’s anti-abortion agenda has nothing to do with how the economy is performing, because if we use his own logic, it would appear that all these anti-abortion laws have done to the economy is strangle it.

Furthermore, having kids doesn’t magically improve a person’s economic outlook. Sure, you can take advantage of child tax credits and get a bigger tax return, but on average, it costs $250,000-$300,000 to raise a child from birth to the age of 18. Far more than tax credits provide. And if you have more than one child, the cost to raise your kids doubles. For example, having four kids would cost around $1 million to raise. So while having kids can be a joyful experience, it can be financially crippling, especially for teen girls who get pregnant before they finish school.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, not only does pregnancy have a negative impact on the education prospects of teen girls, it also severely harms them economically.

Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of teen pregnancy and childbearing. Two-thirds of young unmarried mothers are poor and around 25 percent go on welfare within three years of a child’s birth. Low educational attainment among teen mothers affects their economic opportunities and earnings in later years. Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school or college, and are therefore less likely to find well-paying jobs. This reality is evident in the fact that over the past 20 years, the median income for college graduates has increased 19 percent, while income among high school drop-outs has decreased 28 percent.The economic consequences of dropping out of school often contribute to the perpetual cycle of economic hardship and poverty that spans generations.

Only around 20 percent of fathers of children born to teen mothers marry the mothers. Therefore, child support generally represents a vital income source for these single parent families, accounting for 23 percent of family income among families that receive it. However, teen fathers may pay less than $800 a year in child support, compounding financial difficulties for the parent responsible for day to day care. Teen fathers are often poor themselves; research indicates that they are also less educated and experience earning losses of 10-15 percent annually.

Another thing to consider is that the parent or parents may have to apply for state and federal assistance, which drains even more resources from budgets.

In short, forcing women to have babies against their will, especially women who cannot afford to raise a child, only places an economic burden on them and the government. Children are a huge responsibility, which is why easier access to contraception is important. It prevents unwanted pregnancies, therefore preventing abortions as well. If Republicans really want to improve the economy and end abortion, they should support contraception so that young women can seek the education they desire so that they can earn more money and become financially secure enough to make the decision to have a child. But that would require Republicans to get off of their religious high-horse and embrace logic and reason.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. The real tragedy here is that most of the people in Kansas are bright, caring, reasonable human beings. I am optimistic that sooner rather than later, you will start to see a generational shift appear in the Kansas voting public towards fiscal responsibility AND social liberty. This clown show of a fundamentalist, bought and paid for, divisive, state government will only hasten the arrival of a moderate, common sense, voting public. It is inevitable. The younger generations here in Kansas are keenly aware of, and disgusted by, the hypocrisy and bigotry of religious fundamentalism. More importantly, in a state with such a low population density, and a glut of agriculture and energy resources, there is no excuse to not provide our children with a world class education. The older generations of this state have failed their children miserably. They were more concerned with having enough Jesus, football, and abstinence in our schools, when they should have been worried about things like calculus, chemistry, physics, and technology. Unless you invest in the youth of Kansas and their education, no amount of tax breaks will have a lasting effect on our economy. In time, the younger generations here will remedy this gross failure, but the sooner it happens, the better, for all Kansans.

    • Well, Governor Brownback does not accept blame for his actions when he signs all the laws that have before him. However, he will place the blame squarely on the Republican Legislators who have forced him to sign the bills placed before him. The income tax cuts for a select few was a big travesty that is still having a terrible economic on the state. The GOP of Kansas does not care for those who need assistance, but they do want babies to be born. Who will care for the additional burdens that the state will most surely encounter in the near future? I think all the children that women will be forced to carry should dropped off at the Governor’s office. Since he such a caring Christian man, he should be able to take care of the additional children from his own pocket. He has good health insurance. He seems to have done quite well for himself living off of taxpayers at the Federal and State level. He likes to pick and choose which Federal funds to accept. If the funds go to help the less fortunate or public education, he certainly strike it off. People will remember when the next elections come up! Governor Brownback did not win by any land slide. Some legislators are also probably getting worried about their re-election prospects as well. Sucking of the government tit is what they do best! There more than a few who are not too happy with these clowns. Time for the clowns to get back in their car and go on a long extended vacation.

  2. For years, our educational institutes have been churning out “educated idiots.” Now we are paying the price. The stupidity of this governor is a prime example of how our educational institutes have failed at their jobs. He is too incompetent to hold a job in the private sector. So, like many of his peers, he went into politics. Now that the ‘mess has hit the fan,’ the stupid voters who put him into office are sitting there wondering “duhhh…what in the world” has happened?

  3. Yeah have more kids and then what? Send them to the schools that we’ve cut budgets for? Then where will we be? Normally I would have respect for the people who are running this country, but he has shown no sign of intelligence. Forcing women to have kids they don’t want?? That is RIDICULOUS.

  4. Yes of course he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s pandering to the religious right, who voted for him, who fell for his lies, who don’t realize that he’s bought and paid for and who will vote for him again and again He doesn’t give a darn about the good people of Kansas, he ruining their state!

  5. Brownback hasn’t said anything about “forcing” women to do anything. His position is merely that becoming pregnant should be an irrevocable decision. If a woman doesn’t want to have a child, she shouldn’t get pregnant in the first place.

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