An American-born mom living in Germany is calling out U.S. policies that make it harder to be a parent.
Birth rates have been falling around the world for over a decade. As the cost of living increased and women’s rights began to expand — whether it be from greater work opportunities, accessible contraceptives or the right to choose — fertility rates have generally dropped. With fewer people having children, populations are expected to decline by the end of the century. This would have huge impacts like labor shortages.
The U.S. and Germany exemplify two very different approaches to addressing this issue. In 2005, Germany’s then-Chancellor Angela Merkel began expanding parental benefits and investing in child care (along with accepting young refugees from Syria in 2015). The result has been a much-improved birth rate. However, in the U.S., the fertility rate is still on the decline.
She explained that in Germany, it’s free to give birth, and parents receive monthly child care stipends. In addition, daycare is affordable, and parental leave is available. In the U.S., none of this support exists for parents.
Instead, the mom claimed that the U.S. is more concerned with propagating poor sex education, along with “outlawing abortion” and “forcing birth.” She made a clear dig at the Supreme Court’s (still technically unofficial) decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, despite the majority of Americans’ support for abortion rights.
“Is Germany accepting applications for citizenship?” a user joked.
“It doesn’t make sense how other countries care about their people, and the U.S. only cares about money,” another commented.
“You know, if we had a livable cost of living, having a kid would be easy. But at this point, it’s just not financially sound,” someone suggested.
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