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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  1. Teen pregnancy leading to single mothers trying to raise a baby also puts financial hardship on her family, because her parents usually end up helping support the two. Very few of men involved in the pregnancy contribute financially. I never have understood why the people who gripe the most about taxes supporting people on assistance are also the ones most against contraceptives and abortion.

    • Let me tell you about our Kansas Governor: he claims to have been raised on a pig farm. Pig farm for sure. Went to Kansas State, met, and married a millionaires daughter who owned Stauffer Communications. I doubt between his family heritage and her money that he ever felt a day on this earth when he ever went hungry so therefore he never how it actually is. The Kansas of my reality and his is the same as former President Bush II: lets give the super rich tax breaks and lets sock it to the poor because they caused their own fate. Just on this reasoning I will stick with voting for a Democratic candidate no matter what a Republican candidate says or does.

      • Sounds like Iowa "pig farmer" Joni Earnst, another real winner! I can't figure out where they come from or how they get elected!

        • 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 ‘s_ _t has hit the fan,’ the stupid voters who put him into office are sitting there wondering “what the h_ _l” has happened?

          • I don’t think he’s an idiot. He knows exactly what he’s doing with his agenda, and he doesn’t care that he’s bankrupting our state. He’s been bought by the wealthy, and he serves them.

          • I gather that you have the same disregard for our modern day educators as I do. The far left has been infiltrating our educational systems since the late 1930's so it's little wonder that our children are not taught to think logically on any subject, especially the social sciences. They teach that the wealthy should feel guilty and the poor should feel entitled and that most are not qualified to govern themselves but have to be taken care of by the Intelligentsia. Is it any wonder that Brownbacks get elected?

        • They get elected because most voters are not interested enough to take the time required to assess a politicians speeches and assess his or her motives. They forget that the bible shows how: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I am not a member of the Radical Religious Right, just well read. We have become complacent as a nation and taken our freedoms for granted. We have forgotten the warning: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
          On the question of abortion, to deny a woman any kind of health care is to discriminate against her on the basis of her sex which is a violation of her constitutional rights.
          I had originally assumed that Gov. Brownback was too egotistical to admit that his legislation was a failure, but after reading his comments about family I have decided that it not egotism, its stupidity.

    • Yes, it has always amazed me how these people, with a straight face, can say that people [*though often implied minorities and/or illegal immigrants] are sexually irresponsible and use abortion as their main form of birth control, but at the same time, they are having numerous kids to take advantage of welfare benefits. The two ideas are mutually exclusive, not to mention highly bigoted, and just flat-out wrong, but you will still hear obtuse, brain-washed, fanatics spout this nonsense.

    • Not merely Orwellian.

      Totally FALSE.

      The countries and states where women have the easiest access to family planning, including abortion, are the wealthiest.

      The #1 predictor of wealth in any given country is women's access to family planning so that families remain small enough for the adults to support and nurture properly.

      When families are the size the parents choose, the children who are born into them are lavished with goods and services. Families buy MORE GOODS PER FAMILY MEMBER when the family is small and affordable.

      In uncontrollably large families, each child receives a smaller piece of the family income pie.

      Furthermore, in countries where the population grows uncontrollably, family income is depressed by the widespread availability of desperate job-seeking adults. Thus ensuring that all families, large or small, will have very little wealth at all. In large families, that depressed income must be spread around to so many people that frequently members starve or live exceedingly short lives.

      Brownback's assertion is an unequivocal LIE.

  2. If you can't afford that baby, there's always adoption. The dirty little secret that the GOP and their ilk like Brownback won't say is that there isn't enough white babies to adopt. By forcing women to carry their fetuses to term there might be more white babies to adopt. Then white couples who want kids wouldn't have to go to Russia, China, or South America to get children. You know, foreign children.

    • Bingo. That's what they're after. They can't convert enough adults to their churches anymore, so they want to "train up a child" from birth onwards, but they can't always pop out a baby a year, so they want ours. This is why they're against contraception, abortion, AND welfare. Trap a woman into a pregnancy, give her no lifeboat if she winds up in trouble.

    • What if neither your pocketbook nor your body can bear the cost of a pregnancy? Where does adoption fit in then?

      And who is going to adopt all the babies of women of color?

      And, btw, there are PLENTY OF ADOPTABLE CHILDREN ALREADY BORN. They just aren't infants. They are children who are forced to live in foster and group homes, most of which are the total pits when it comes to being nurturing environments for children.

      Why do white Americans go to China, etc., when there are several million children in foster and group homes who will be there throughout their entire childhoods?

      Regardless, Brownback's theory is preposterous and is not borne out in reality.

      The countries and states where women have the easiest access to family planning, including abortion, are the wealthiest.

      The #1 predictor of wealth in any given country is women's access to family planning so that families remain small enough for the adults to support and nurture properly.

      So you have bought the BS. How does that taste in your mouth????

  3. How are people supposed to "grow a small business" when the very corporate America these idiots make breaks and loopholes for keeps pouring Roundup on the populace.

  4. Shouldn't those right wingers acknowledge that if god wanted them to have babies they would be able to get pregnant? Aren't they interfering with god's plan by taking someone else's children?

    • Occasionally, birth control fails. Condoms break, pills don’t process, shots wear off, etc.. Now, abstinence is a good policy, in theory, but not many put it into practice. And what about rape/sexual assault victims? They must have been “irresponsible” too, huh? And those girls who were taken advantage of, while intoxicated? I’m sure they were all just too irresponsible. As was your mother, for raising you to think that way. While I believe that we need some kind of regulation, it sickens me to think that men like Sam Brownback are allowed to make laws against letting rape victims and teenage girls get the medical treatment they need. And you… You probably voted for him, if you even live here in Kansas. I heard a 13 year old girl ask a man outside of a liquor store to buy her a bottle of vodka. Not for a party. No, it was because she couldn’t get an abortion, after her uncle raped her. This is why we need these services. Because, if, God forbid, my daughter ever had something.like that happen, I would be furious if she couldn’t get the help she needed.

  5. Of course Brownback would not actually support paid maternity leave or provide vouchers to high quality daycare facilities or any other policy that would actually support families.

  6. It isn't the teenaged girls having babies that causes them hardship, it's the way we don't help them that causes them the hardship. A 30-year-old who has a baby as a single mother has access to more resources and has more rights than that teenaged girl does. We created this. It was not inevitable and it's not a law of nature. We can make choices to change it, too. Don't get me wrong, in my perfect world I would not see ANY woman have a baby if she feels unready or unwilling to do so. But we can't artificially push society in a certain direction that causes harm to vulnerable populations and then blame the vulnerable populations for being harmed. And it's still physically better to have a child while you're young than it is to wait til you're almost sixty, which seems to be what more and more of society wants women to do, which is just insane.

    • Except that a large portion of the young ladies we're talking about is far too young to carry a child to term. " And it's still physically better to have a child while you're young than it is to wait til you're almost sixty…" There is a such thing as too young, and bills like this don't make provisions for rape. How do you stand by forcing a 14 year old being forced to carry the child of her rapist to term?

      Not only is that *absolutely* not his decision, it is my personal opinion that *anyone* that would allow such egregious violations of Natural Rights isn't even entitled to an opinion on the matter. So the young lady not only has to deal with the humiliation, depression, and excruciating pains associated with pregnancy and childbirth, she now must also deal with financing the decision forced upon her by a State that blatantly tells her she's on her own.

      But nah, it's cool. Better than giving birth at Sixty, right? And it helps the economy.

  7. There is absolutely no correlation between pro-family and pro-life. He talked repeatedly about a strong family unit. Women having unwanted babies does not result in a strong family unit. In fact, just the opposite is true. Given his line of thinking, we need to ensure that the pregnant woman and the man that got her pregnant must be forced to be married as well as have the unwanted child, and divorce needs to be made illegal so they stay married. Now that’s a strong family unit!

  8. Believe me, Sammy has always been a total moron. The major problem is all the morons who look at him as their king and in their eyes he can do no wrong. Many of us stranded in this god forsaken state recognize him as nothing more than a suck up for the Koch boys and any other individual with $.

  9. This is crazy. Unwanted children are not raised as well as wanted children. Good contraception avoids most abortions, and is vital as children turn into adults. I grew up in Kansas, but I do NOT agree with this crazy man. Unwanted pregnancies are a problem. Brownbeck will be the end of a reasonable government in Kansas. Too bad the state is going downhill.

  10. Reading these comments, I get that Democrats would rather have young girls grow up to be fully informed about contraception, use it and have it fail, and then would rather they abort than take the chance their child would some day become Christian, become a Republican, abstain until marriage, and raise children with both a mother and a father, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In other words, anti traditional family, the essential building block of civilization.

      • Just a moron. Probably one of the people who put up a sign in their yard, saying Vote for Brownback. $20.00 says they work either in a church, or for Koch.

    • WTF does your god have to do with anything? Remember, he is just your god, one among many. And if you are any indication of his competence, he can’t make the cut. He is a failure, and you are living proof. Sooner or later, Darwin will catch up to you