Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the inclusion of hundreds of millions of dollars for family planning services in the stimulus bill yesterday, by arguing that birth control will help the economy. On ABC's This Week Pelosi said:
The family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education, and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those — one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
While Pelosi's comments could come off as characterizing children born to poor families as nothing more than a burden on the government, there could be some logic to her argument. Unplanned pregnancies can level significant financial burdens on parents, who may turn to the government for assistance if they do not have the means. By increasing access to contraception, lower-income families would have the freedom to plan their families just like those with access to contraception. Still, others point out that population growth typically helps economic growth, and in places like Japan, the government actually encourages citizens to have more kid-producing sex.
Do you think Nancy Pelosi's argument that birth control can help the economy is far-fetched?