The Colorado representative made the misleading claim during a congressional hearing on immigration law, suggesting that stopping abortions is a better way to boost the U.S. population than embracing immigrants
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert erroneously blamed the United States' declining birth rate on abortion during a congressional hearing on immigration law this week.
On Wednesday, the far-right congresswoman took a moment while speaking during a House Oversight Committee hearing to claim that the nation’s birth rate is falling due to “nearly 1 million abortions” a year — overlooking more prevalent financial and social factors that have been linked with the decline.
“My colleagues just asked if our birth rate was declining here in America and the answer was yes,” said Boebert, 37. “Well, of course it is. We have nearly 1 million abortions in our country a year."
Boebert’s comments came during a House Oversight debate on U.S. immigration law, after Democratic committee members argued that immigration boosts economic and employment growth, and can help provide a much-needed population increase as Baby Boomers exit the workforce en masse.
Boebert, who is outspokenly anti-choice, asserted that to see an increase in birth rate we should "look at our own country first," though politicians have had a historically difficult time convincing people to have children — not for lack of trying.
Data has also demonstrated that even when the abortion rate has gone down in modern times, the birth rate has continued declining.
According to Vox, larger factors, including economic woes, could be behind the nation's falling birth rate: Since the Great Recession, Americans have had fewer and fewer children, with the overall rate dropping nearly 23% between 2007 and 2022. Other factors include people marrying later (or not at all), broader access to contraceptives and the lack of family-friendly policies like paid leave and subsidized child care.
Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, told Vox that the “opportunity cost” of having a child has grown in modern times. “People, especially women, have more lucrative things to do," he said.
Meanwhile, according to a poll by The New York Times in 2018, about a quarter of participants said they had or were planning to have less children than they would ideally like. Of those, 64% said the cost of child care was behind their decision.
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