Welfare recipients should be forced to receive birth control..


I’ve been having this discussion for years now with some close friends who believe that persons of  child bearing age, who receive public assistance (food stamps, welfare, HUD, social security etc)  should be forced not to have kids.

And after learning in recent days that Nadya Suleman, the octuplets’ mother, has been receiving public assistance for years now the anger seems to be boiling over. I understand the anger many people have towards those who abuse our welfare system however the minute government starts to control the reproductive rights of its citizens it can no longer claim to be a democracy. And what about women’s rights? How can you ask a woman to chose between eating today and baby tomorrow? 

What do you think?

Do you think people on welfare should be forced to take birth control?

And what about menlike Desmond Hatchett that have kids they cannot possibly afford to take care of?

 Should these men and women receive government mandated and administered birth control? 


6 thoughts on “Welfare recipients should be forced to receive birth control..

  1. “Child-bearing” age is a wide margin, as a recent news story about a thirteen year-old father and fifteen year-old mother from the U.K. shows:


    Far right conservatives will never go for it as it “condones” sexual intercourse, both outside of wedlock and for minors. This puts them in conflict with themselves, as both of the previously mentioned cases set up the possibility of welfare abuse. Liberals will never buy it as a result of your mentioned reproductive rights issues in spite of the fact that it might just “solve” the problem.

    Personally, I think that one parent, regardless of marital status, should be paid to raise his/her children up through a reasonable age (two years, perhaps). These children, educated or not, will form the basis of future society by paying taxes and joining the work force, which ultimately drives our economy. If society took child-rearing, education included, as seriously as it should be, we might just cure a host of societal ills in the process!

  2. Tomek,

    You made some very interesting points.

    Thank you for you comments.

    So parents should be “paid to raise his/her children” but wouldn’t this contradict the traditional view of parenting as a pleasurable part of life? If you’re being paid by the state to raise children couldn’t that be viewed as an obligation rather than a pleasure?

  3. You’ve raised an interesting topic and definitely one that I want to comment on… Very relevant to my position as a pregnant young woman currently receiving public assistance benefits. I am a college graduate and grew up in a wealthy suburban community outside of the most expensive cities on the east coast. I am well-educated, well-behaved (i.e. no criminal record), and ambitious.

    I am currently living in an area very different from where I grew up: a relatively impoverished rust-belt city where my age, mid-twenties, is considered “older” to be having your first child. Many members of the population – I would even go so far as to say the majority – are uneducated, poor, young people who have children. This is also an intensely religious area. Coincidentally, it costs close to $700 to get an abortion, which results in bringint to term a lot of unplanned pregnancies that would have otherwise been terminated if the cost wasn’t prohibitive. This is not to mention the fact that birth control is not free and no longer affordable once women are not covered by Medicaid.

    However, I do not agree with government regulations. I believe in subsidies because I do not believe capitalism is a “fair system.” I am second generation American and my family has virtually nothing to speak of in assets, has been renting the same apartment since my grandmother was married in the forties (we’ve paid more than what the building could ever be worth over the past sixty years), we have all contributed to the work force with little to show for it. Subsidies are a result of the capitalist system and the absence of a government-mandated living wage.

    I staunchly oppose government policies that aim to regulate one’s lifestyle. We live in a constitutional democratic republic, which means that while the government can create, implement, and enforce laws, the government cannot tell us how to conduct our lives.

    I am living in an area that could probably benefit greatly from imposed birth control, but this does not mean it is a solution. It is, rather, a band-aid to cover the real wound: the lack of education. Women in this area are not taught that they have options. They are not taught to be confident and work towards realizing their full potential. Many do not have aspirations or motivation. This, in my mind, all stems from the culture of this area: poor families bringing kids into the world young with no regard to creating the best options possible for their children. People here, in general, do not seem to think about even presenting children with options.

    I do, however, believe in making birth control more accessible. I think that sex education needs to be better implemented in the schools. I believe that abortions should be more affordable. And I believe that the welfare-to-work programs need to be developed so that individuals receiving benefits actually have a chance of undergoing training to move on to work for a livable wage.

    • Hello Mamahubbard,

      Thank you so much for your comment and I look forward to our discussion. Your comment was extremely informative and I really enjoyed reading it and I hope you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions.

      When you say lack of education you mean specifically lack of education in the birth control choices available to them or do you mean a lack of a formal eduction? And if you’re speaking of a formal education how can we help many poor Americans to understand that education is the only guaranteed way out of povery? In most other countries this is readily understood but many poor Americans seemingly believe that you can still make it without an education even as the economy gets harder and harder.

      In regards to sexual education in schools how can we make these programs more effective? Should we bring in a teen mothers from the community who are unemployed and currently struggling to make ends meet to speak to teens in a language they understand and to counteract those images of ghetto rich welfare moms that many teens in poor neighborhoods are regularly exposed too?

      And in regards to welfare-to-work..I have direct experience in a welfare to work program and I can honestly say that while my results as a case manager were impressive (I had an 80% success rate) the overall program results were mixed. And honestly, the reason I believe I was so successful in getting my clients into a vocational or educational program was because I demanded more and only expected the best from them and I also cheered their successes and believed in their abilities and in some cases, most cases in fact, I was the first person to do that and they didn’t want to disappoint me So does that mean there needs to be more sincere and direct involvment in the lives of those in welfare-to-work programs in order to achieve mutally beneficial societal results and mamahubbard is that even possible?

  4. I don’t think anyone should be forced to use birth control but I think all women should be educated as to their options. Further women on welfare or women with no money should be educated about their options and the provided birth control at no cost if desired. Just because you are poor should not mean you have to get pregnant because you can’t afford bith control or don’t understand your options. I work at a homeless clinic and take care of so many women who have babies because they have no control over anything in their life not because they want them.

  5. I think we need to push for mandatory birth control to go to school just like a regular immunization is required this shot required after age 14 or freshman year which ever comes first and required all the way thru college. This would cut down on population and also abortions. And would help the drop out rate to decrease.

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