Unplanned pregnancy is a problem women have been facing for centuries. Here’s a man’s solution to that problem: stop offering benefits to unmarried women who have too many children.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul proposed capping government benefits “for women who have children out of wedlock.” Paul has acknowledged the difficulty of such a policy, saying, “It’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth on the way [and] we’re not going to give her any more money.”
“But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer,” Paul continued.
Currently, most states’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) programs allocate more money for families with more children. Although little evidence has been provided that women on welfare are having “far more children” than those not on welfare, 16 states do follow a program more similar to the one Paul proposed.
In these states, if someone in a household is already receiving aid, the household does not gain any extra money for new children.
A 2001 government report demonstrated that a woman receiving or not receiving money had little effect on the number of children she had. Take, for example, California, a state that implements the family cap policy. California women who receive welfare have a similar number of children as those who do not. Overall, the study reports, “those who use public assistance have the same average family size as those who don’t.”
In the 1990s, 23 states implemented the cap rule; in light of recent research, that number has been reduced by seven.
Paul’s idea, of course, directly opposes this movement and the results of these studies.
Standing out amongst his other ideas concerning families and family status is his statement that “being married with kids versus unmarried with kids is the difference between living in poverty and not.” While statistics do indicate that the poverty rate is far higher for single parents than for married couples, his message also seems to abide by the antiquated view that marriage is the supreme solution to this problem.
How’s this for an alternative solution: provide better access to contraception so a woman doesn’t have to get pregnant before she both wants to and is financially able to.
Sources: Think Progress, Info Wars
Photo Source: Huffington Post