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New Weekly Standard piece explains how Utah encourages strong family formation

People do some last-minute Christmas shopping at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.
People do some last-minute Christmas shopping at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Deseret News Opinion Editor Hal Boyd recently penned a piece for The Weekly Standard in which he explores what would happen to American demographics if “Roe v. Wade” is overturned by the Supreme Court.

He says that conservatives have long argued that overturning “Roe v. Wade” would lead to more children, a higher fertility rate and a lower average age.

But that’s not necessarily the case, he argues. Modern Americans are claiming plenty of reasons to not have more children, and that "only a culture that champions marriage and child-rearing as an essential good and a long-term investment — rather than a mere lifestyle choice (best taken in small doses) — will motivate individuals to once again place parenthood above pets, PlayStations and paychecks," he writes.

“Given the right conditions, positive cultural change can occur, especially if larger institutions — government, corporations and Hollywood — don’t actively work against it,” Boyd writes. “If schools teach the social science behind the well-documented effects of family stability and healthy relationships, it may only take a generation before young people are better equipped to cultivate and sustain the kinds of marriages and future families that are in their long-term interests. Religion can also play a role in encouraging marriage and children, inspiring followers to seek a transcendent, greater good for themselves and others.”

He cites Utah as one example of a state where marriage and family formation have flourished. He writes that the Beehive State has a “strong marriage culture” and “achieved some of the highest rates of upward mobility in the nation.”

“It’s no secret that more than half of Utah’s population belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which emphasizes marriage and children as part of its teachings,” he writes.

Read Boyd’s piece at The Weekly Standard.