“Make Birth Free” Proposal Gains Media Attention

By Matt Yonke | March 1, 2023

More policy ideas aligned with the Joint Statement on Building a Post-Roe Future are coming to the attention of the media.

On January 18, Compact Magazine featured a post authored by Joint Statement signers Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life, and Kristen Day of Democrats for Life proposing to make birth free in the United States.

The courageous proposal points out that birth is a disproportionately large expense for American families—much larger than in most other developed countries—and that covering the cost of birth for all American women would not only be feasible, but would encourage family formation and growth.

In an interesting turn of events, two other signers of the Joint Statement, Leah Libresco Sargent of Other Feminisms and Patrick T. Brown of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) published a friendly rebuttal on the EPPC website on January 23 entitled “Making It Easier to Have a Child Doesn’t Require Making Birth Free.”

They argue that there are many existing programs that effectively do reduce the high “on paper” cost of birth for many families, and that money spent reducing that cost could be used more effectively for things like cash transfers to new parents.

It’s wonderful to see these ideas being debated in the public square, as they may not have found as much purchase among pro-life people in the era of Roe. We hope to see many more proposals and more good faith debate among people of good will who share the goals of the Joint Statement.