Kathryn is right to worry that Mayor Bloomberg is pushing young girls to abort their babies. But Planned Parenthood is wrong to worry about the stigma Bloomberg’s new teenage-pregnancy campaign creates. As a Bloomberg spokesperson told the New York Times, it is “past time” to be “value neutral” about teenage pregnancy. Girls who get pregnant as teens (and the boys who impregnate them) should be stigmatized, because they generally aren’t ready to care for their kids. In fact, as Charles Murray and others have argued, anyone who has a baby before they have the means to care for him or her should be called out as morally suspect.
As the Times article explains, the clearest path out of poverty is for young people to avoid having children before they graduate from high school and get married. Conservatives worried about increasing social mobility should join hands with the mayor and encourage young pregnant girls to give their babies up for adoption. Then we can go back to arguing over soda bans and iPod buds.
— Michael J. Petrilli is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.