Mandatory spacing of children: could it happen here?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 29, 2015

In Myanmar, the government will now require women to space births at least 36 months apart. (It remains to be seen how this requirement will be enforced; a UN rapporteur foresees serious human-rights problems.) This sort of blatant government interference in family affairs could never happen in the US, right? Right?

Now that Uncle Sam can set standards for what qualifies as proper medical care, and determine what costs must be covered under health-insurance plans, there is a clear temptation to micro-manage. Is it too far-fetched to imagine a future in which government officials declare that spacing children is “best practice,” and insurance policies should not compensate women for doing otherwise? For that matter, as the costs of medical coverage soar, is it not inevitable that some budget-cutters will suggest limiting child-care coverage to the approved norm of 2.0 children per family?

Let me pose the question in a different way. If current trends continue, which is more likely:

  1. The federal government will eventually place a lid on the number of times a woman can be compensated for the costs of childbirth.
  2. The federal government will eventually place a lid on the number of times a woman can be compensated for the costs of abortion.

The correct answer, obviously, is #1. Under Obamacare, abortion coverage is sacrosanct. All other medical expenses—whether they are for childbirth or kidney stones or knee replacement or palliative care—are negotiable.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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