Thursday 20 July 2017

Mary Kenny: Debate rages about how many children is too many

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Should families limit the number of babies they have according to their means? The British culture minister, Jeremy Hunt, raised something of a storm over the past few days by suggesting just that: "Don't have children unless you can pay for them."

The Labour leader Ed Miliband branded his remarks "abhorrent" and "cruel", but Mr Hunt was not reprimanded by any of Prime Minister David Cameron's administration.

In a sense, Jeremy Hunt was only articulating a traditional middle-class view of family life. Even before birth control became known, or considered acceptable (it wasn't fully accepted, even for married couples, until 1958 by the Church of England) middle-class couples were restricting family size, by deferring marriage, and practising some element of marital restraint.

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