The Sequester Created a Baby Boom in D.C.

by Ryan Lovelace

Birth rates in the Washington, D.C., area have spiked approximately nine months after the government shutdown last fall.

Sibley Memorial Hospital in D.C. has seen an increase of three births per day during the past month, according to the Washington Post. The hospital’s spokesman told ABC News that the hospital is ”at near-capacity right now” and joked that some of the furloughed feds had “apparently found ways to amuse themselves.”

Meanwhile, Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md., reportedly welcomed 385 newborns into the world in the first half of July this year, up 120 from the same period in 2013.

It remains unclear whether ThinkProgress considers this development the end result of its warning about “How The Looming Sequester Will Have A Disproportionate Impact On Women And Children,” or the Congressional Black Caucus’ claim that the sequestration cuts were part of the “War on Women.”

In fact, the Post described the shutdown as having a positive impact on at least one female federal employee: Jessica Hernandez, a program analyst for the Food and Drug Administration, said she had a “great time” during the sequester going out to lunch, volunteering, hanging out with her mom, and relaxing. “Her relaxation contributed to her better mood, she recalled, and her better mood contributed to her choice of activities when her husband came home from his sales consulting job,” the Post reported. When Hernandez returned to her 150-person office at the FDA after the shutdown, she found that she was one of three pregnant women who would be giving birth to sequester babies.

And while some in the mainstream media still question the sequester’s role in helping women get pregnant and boosting the economy, NBC’s Brian Williams had a more pressing question earlier this month: “How long until someone on television points out that during the shutdown the folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people?”

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