Republican representative Lauren Boebert has claimed that abortions are to blame for falling birthrates in the US.
The 37-year-old Colorado representative, known for her anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and climate change denial, addressed the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday (17 January), claiming that the US’ birth rate is falling due to “nearly one million abortions a year”.
In a debate against Democrats who argued that immigration boosts economic growth and employment growth during a hearing on immigration law, Boebert referenced the falling US birth rate and claimed that increasing the rate of US citizens being born is preferable to rising immigration.
“Of course it is [the birth rate falling] … we have nearly one million abortions in our country a year,” she said.
“If that’s an issue, well then we need to address that, if we want an incline in our birth rate, well let’s look at our own country first.”
While Lauren Boebert’s data is correct as of three years ago – with The Guttmacher Institute estimating that around 930,160 abortions took place in the US in 2020 (other data companies estimate around 626,000 legal abortions a year) – abortion rates have reportedly significantly fallen in Europe and North America over the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, there are several other reasons why the birth rate is declining in the US, including the fact that many millennials simply can’t afford to have children, as well as improved access to contraception, and more women being in education and work.
Boebert’s argument also does not take into account the fact that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in 2022.
Since then, a significant number states across the US have restricted abortion access or banned it almost completely, with 12 states banning abortion with very limited exceptions.