Thursday, May 30, 2002

A POST-SEPTEMBER 11 BABY-BOOM? I wonder if stories like this one about a supposed 9-11 baby boom (link via Leaning to the Right) are really about bored reporters looking for a story, any story, when there's not much else to report. The reporter admits that "At this point, evidence of an overall jump in post-Sept. 11 pregnancies -- even for the New York metropolitan area -- is anecdotal. That's because it takes demographers weeks or even months to collect and tally official birth data," but runs with the anecdotes anyway, including Chris Rock's admission on Oprah that Sept. 11 prompted him and his wife to conceive. The general theme is that "it's never going to be the right time. We should start now.''' Well, since anecdotes are all we have to go on, here's mine: I've belonged to an internet group of women who have been chatting about life and babies since we met on Babycenter.com when we were pregnant back in 1999. Some of us stopped with one child, but several others have kept going, and about a quarter of the women in my group are currently pregnant. Not one of those pregnancies was inspired by 9-11. In fact, the only woman I know in NYC is opting to wait a few more years before having another child. So I guess I could write a story with the headline, "September 11 Doesn't Trigger Baby Boom; but Women Still Having Babies for Other Reasons."

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