Babies, Education and Choice in Africa

October 30, 2018The Topic: Babies, Education and Choice in AfricaThe News Story: Mothers of Big Families Challenge Macron’s Fertility StanceThe New Research: The Contraceptive Mindset Invades the Gambia “French President Emmanuel Macron is facing criticism from mothers with big families both at home and abroad for comments he made about women and fertility in Africa,” reports the AP. At a speech Macron made for a Gates Foundation event, the French president claimed that a “critical issue for African’s population is that women and girls aren’t able choose whether or not to have children — and linked it to a lack of education.” Macron continued, “Please present me the lady who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight, nine children.” Many, many educated women worldwide took to Twitter to protest, coupling the hashtag #postcardsforMacron with pictures of their large families. Research from at least one African nation would suggest that one reason some of these women have more children are rather shocking, or would be to the mind of Macron—they want them.  (Source: Associated Press, “Mothers of Big Families Challenge Macron’s Fertility Stance,” October 18, 2018.) The New Research: Mothers Wanting Too Many Babies in the Gambia As champions of the feminist cause, progressives tirelessly insist that they want to expand the range of choice open to women around the globe. But a new study out of the Gambia in West Africa manifests more than a little progressive discomfort with one kind of female choice: that of bearing and rearing a large family. Conducted by researchers at the University of The Gambia, this new study focuses on “grand multiparity,” the obstetric phenomenon manifest when a woman has “carried five or more pregnancies to the age of viability.” The Gambian researchers note that “grand multiparity is still quite common in The Gambia,” where the Total Fertility Rat
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