On Contact: Birth Strike & hidden fight over womens work
The fertility rate in the United States has been steadily falling, so much so that without immigration our population would be declining. This is the seventh straight year fertility rates have fallen. In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing agewell below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable. Only two statesSouth Dakota and Utahhad birth rates above replacement levels.
Policy makers are acutely aware of the birth rate decline, using coded words such as age structure, dependency ratio, and entitlement crisis to express their concern with an aging population, the inevitable weakening of consumer demand and a stagnant economy. Yet policy makers refuse to acknowledge the reality of womens reproductive labor by providing adequate child care, family leave, health care, sufficient male support, and remuneration for child rearing. U.S. women, in response, have gone on a birth strike. Joining Chris Hedges to discuss this issue is Jenny Brown, author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Womens Work and organizer with National Womens Liberation.