Recently, Naomi Cahn and Jane Carbone, the authors of Red Families v. Blue Families had an article in Slate criticizing pro-lifers for an increase in single-parent families. They argue that the religious culture in many southern and midwestern states makes women less likely to choose abortion when confronted with an unintended pregnancy. This leads to more single-parent families in red states.
However, in a response at NRO, I argue that the contraceptive culture that Cahn and Carbone promote also bears a great deal of responsibility for the rise in single-parent families. Indeed, several economic studies indicate that expanded access to contraception encourages more women to engage in premarital sex and increases the number of unintended pregnancies. Furthermore, men who impregnate women face considerably less social pressure to marry. The end result has been more sexual activity, more abortions, and yes, more single-parent households.
Not surpsingly Cahn and Carbone fail to engage this issue. They claim contraceptives are effective, but remain blissfully unaware of the studies of contraception programs in Scotland, Spain, and San Francisco that show no impact on abortion rates or unintended-pregnancy rates. Overall, Cahn and Carbone need to address the fact that the contraceptive culture they avidly promote has also played a role in the rise of single-parent households.