Child-free individuals like Delgado lose those of us in the parent camp by deeming childrearing “breeding.” Delgado claims, “Having children isn’t an achievement. The entire animal kingdom does it. The ‘welfare queen’ down the block has done it six times with another on the way. Having a child is not an achievement—raising a child well is.” As any woman who has grown a human being inside their body and then either pushed it out or had it surgically removed, I can assure her that pregnancy and birth is itself an accomplishment.

Any woman who chooses to take a pregnancy to term, something many do not, should be applauded and celebrated. As a conservative, Delgado shouldn’t be so quick to write off the importance of celebrating a woman bringing new life into the world, even if she is a “welfare queen.” Every child has value, regardless of the circumstances of its birth. This inherent need to minimize the act of childbearing on the part of the child-free is as Progressive as it gets, despite Delgado’s claim that the child-free life is a choice that is “certainly no less conservative.”

I invite other conservative parents to help change our cultural narrative on parenting. We need to talk about why we became parents, and why we continue to “have a child, then another, then another.” We’re not just doing it for society, for our friends, for our families. Even if we have to get a little mushy, it’s worth extolling the virtue of childbearing and childrearing, lest the Delgados and Marcottes of the world scare more couples away from the best decision they will ever make.