US social media influencer, 'Mama Doctor Jones' reveals why she's making the move to Invercargill

A US-based women's health doctor popular on social media for her medical myth-busting has announced she's leaving Texas and moving to Invercargill, Aotearoa. 

Dr Danielle Jones, otherwise known as 'Mama Doctor Jones' on Instagram and YouTube, joined the AM Show on Thursday to explain why she and her family had chosen to make the giant move. 

"We've always really loved New Zealand, we've been there twice," she said from her home in Texas. 

"Since our first visit there we've been trying to find a way to come and experience New Zealand and the culture for a longer amount of time, and this is just the timing that worked out. 

"With the pandemic, it's so hard to find jobs there and the Invercargill job opened up and I interviewed with the great team there, who [seem] absolutely wonderful and it just seemed like the right fit and the right timing." 

Dr Jones has close to a million followers on YouTube and recently made headlines with her now-infamous tweet directed at '90s star Kirstie Alley, after Alley made claims that rates of teen pregnancy and abortion were higher thanks to a prevalence of sex education in schools. 

"Actually, teen pregnancy and abortion peaked in the '90s, just like Kirstie Alley," Dr Jones replied, in a tweet that racked up over 7000 likes. 

"The truth is if you follow back far enough abortion and teen pregnancy were much more prevalent in 1900s and 1950s than now," Dr Jones explained to the AM Show.

"All the studies and all the literature show increasing sex education decreases rates teen pregnancy and abortion. I'm a big fan of sex education - I think it should be taught all the way from kindergarten to high school." 

As a liberal democrat living in the southern states of the US, Dr Jones said she's been forced to fight a lot of conservative viewpoints and stereotypes in her work. 

When asked by AM Show host Ryan Bridge why she had picked Invercargill, "one of the most conservative places in the country" for her move, she said her work on social media had taught her a lot about "conveying the messages that are important". 

"I grew up in the 'bible belt' in a small town in Texas that was extremely conservative. It's taken me many years to unlearn some of the things that had been given as fact, and make my own decisions on how to think about things," she revealed. 

"But I think that history allows me to speak to people in a way they understand because I've been there. I've been part of that puritan conservative culture, so I get it."  

Watch the video above for the full interview.