Stephen W. sent us a photograph of a billboard in Rock Valley, IA.  It suggests that keeping your baby, instead of having an abortion, is good for the economy:


Sociologists talk about how nations are invested in reproduction.  Without babies, nations literally disappear; too many babies and nations collapse under the strain of a population they cannot support.  Because nations need babies (but not too many babies), states adopt pro- and anti-natal policies (e.g., the one child rule or medals for mothers) that encourage or discourage childbearing.  This billboard is an interesting example of a call to women to have children so as to help the nation (though it is sponsored by a pro-life organization, not the state).  Women, in this argument, have a responsibility to the nation (perhaps equivalent to military service?) that transcends their individual reproductive preferences.

(See this related post on making babies for the military.)


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.