Let’s talk about sex, baby. The long-simmering debate in American politics about babies and whether people should have more of them is flaring up again. It seems self-evident that an aging society unable to reach a replacement-level birth rate has problems—that the choice to be child-free (at the macro level) is a bad sign for a civilization.

But the question of what to do about that is being litigated in our political realm in increasingly unhealthy ways, even as birth rates are well below the replacement level of about 2.1 not just in the United States but across the developed world.

Some members of the “life of Julia” left view children as either expensive baggage (because “the United States is hell for mothers”) or a moot point (since climate change will kill us all and more people would only expedite the process). In the center are people on both sides of the aisle who want to make parenthood more affordable—a shift…

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