Policies To Benefit Working Families Could Help Raise Birth Rate, American Prospect Piece Suggests
December 6, 2012 — Part of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton's "job" is to produce a royal heir, but for most women "[n]ot only is having babies not our job; raising them directly interferes with doing our jobs," E.J. Graff, an author and scholar at the Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center, writes in the American Prospect.
Middleton will have excellent prenatal, postnatal and infant health care, as well as child care, "plenty of time to recuperate physically [and] bond with the baby," and "no worries whatsoever about paying the bills," Graff notes.
By contrast, about three-quarters of U.S. voters experience difficulty meeting both family and work responsibilities, according to an election exit poll released by the National Partnership for Women & Families, Graff writes. "That's why the [U.S.] birthrate is low: Having another child is hard financially," she argues.
According to Graff, "So many of conservatives' aims could be furthered through social policies that progressives would be happy to support as well." For example, improved access to contraception has been linked to fewer abortions, while "[s]tronger working-family policies can increase the birthrate and improve our nation's economic stability and competitiveness," she writes.
"It's Princess Kate's job to deliver her infant while the rest of the world ooohs and aahhhs," Graff writes, concluding, "For the rest of us, the issue is whether we can keep our jobs and still raise our kids" (Graff, American Prospect, 12/4).