Nigeria, the country in Africa with the highest GDP, has the 12th-highest fertility rate in the world, with a TFR of 5.07. South Africa, which has the second-highest GDP on the continent, has a much lower fertility rate of 2.29.
Pakaluk told CNA that she was unhappy that Macron compared forced child marriage, which is "not something Christians could get behind or agree with," to having large families.
She theorized that Macron's views were similar to those of the Gates Foundation, which considers population growth to be a barrier to economic growth.
She expressed concern that this viewpoint could be used to force contraception on African women, "regardless of whether they are asking for this."
"And I think that's false, because other countries have grown quickly with a TFR in the range that [African countries] are in."
While most social conservatives do not oppose the availability of contraception, she said, "what they're against is kind of an aggressive policy" that wastes time and money that could be spent on other developmental programs.
Additionally, Pakaluk said that providing contraception to girls who were forced into marriage in their preteens "isn't going to help" their situations. Instead, she suggested that more efforts be focused on opposing the cultural norms that approve of these situations.
She is also concerned that "an era of cheap and widely-available contraception," in which it is easy for people to pick the size of their families, people are choosing to have fewer and fewer children.
Pakaluk lamented declining fertility rates in other parts of the world, mentioning especially Europe.
While France is home to Europe's highest TFR at 1.96, it is still below the population replacement-level rate of 2.1. This is cause for concern for Pakaluk, who warned that the low birth rates would spell disaster for the continent's extensive social programs.
She is also concerned that the anti-child mentality is a sign of bigger problems.
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"People don't have kids to save their countries from demographic winter," she said.
"They have kids because of a certain attitude towards meaning and the meaning of life and what it means to live a good human life."