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Some staggering idiocy coming from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. As his committee was marking up an anti-abortion bill, the Virginia Republican said:
“I would suggest that it is very much the case that those of us in the majority support this legislation because it is the morally right thing to do but it is also very very true that having a growing population and having new children brought into the world is not harmful to job creation,” he said. “It very much promotes job creation for all the care and services and so on that need to be provided by a lot of people to raise children.”
Goodlatte came out with this gem in the same meeting in which Republicans voted down the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would prohibit discrimination against pregnant women. So: If you're pregnant, you shouldn't have basic protections against your employer demanding that you lift heavy objects or preventing you from carrying a water bottle. But women should have no choice but to have more children because it would create jobs—jobs like childcare and teaching that Republicans think should pay low wages and get little respect. The job creation argument is wrong in any case:
Without access to affordable family planning services, women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence. The low-income women who end up carrying unwanted pregnancies to term end up slipping deeper into poverty and struggling with long-term mental health issues. That ends up impacting the social safety net, putting a greater strain on the Medicaid program. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that every $1 invested into family planning programs yields more than $5 in savings for the U.S. government.
Now, if Goodlatte really thinks having a growing population would be good for job creation, he could always back immigration reform and get the growing population without the forced childbearing that would leave many women in poverty. But making it harder for women to control their reproductive lives is the point of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" Act Goodlatte was pushing. And job creation? This comment is about as serious about job creation as House Republicans have gotten in the past few years, which is to say it's not a priority, and when they claim it is they're always trying to justify something awful and unrelated.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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