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Feb 11, 2009
I've recently been reading some online material concerning the debate around procreation rights. With the human population growing at an exponential rate, resources everywhere lessening, and the planet warming rapidly, it certainly appears to be a topic that needs to at least be discussed. Naturally, since the subject of procreation rights concerns the private lives of individuals, the debates are heated, on both sides.

Despite my personal decision not to have children of my own, and despite the fact that I believe we seriously need to slow down the rate of growth, I am not an advocate of legislating against procreation. I can understand how that would infringe on one of the most basic human rights. I am, however, an advocate of reducing population growth through other means, such as improving and promoting adoption programs and educating women about their choices.

The current cultural paradigm is not aligned with the needs of this overly-extended planet, as it promotes the mistaken belief that having children is the only way to have a truly fulfilling life. I would like to see a time come when the decision to have children is never made through this mistaken belief, or out of societal obligation. I would like to live in a world where having children is a choice that is only made consciously, by people who are capable of being responsible for the life, safety and health of another, completely dependent being.

So many pregnancies occur because parents simply are not aware of what having a child will really mean for their lives and their personal freedom. How is it possible to be truly aware of what it actually takes to raise a child, until you have done it? It is a responsibility that requires a tremendous amount of energy and commitment from an individual, much more than most people can imagine. I believe that this is not discussed anywhere near often enough, and that ignorance of the day-to-day reality of raising children can lead unequipped, emotionally fragile new parents to a kind of breaking point. At worst, this can culminate in child abuse and negligent death or injury, and also to many cases of children who know they are not wanted; girls and boys who are unloved, some of whom are now turning up abandoned at hospitals, because their parents just had no idea what they were getting into, and the reality of it proves to be too much for them to bear.

This is the level on which I feel we need to address population control: by doing whatever it takes to make sure that babies are only born where they are really wanted, to parents who genuinely want to devote their lives to taking care of them.

What I believe is most important, is that we be open to a shift in our cultural paradigm, and break through the old-fashioned belief that raising a family is for everyone. Having children needs to be an educated and deliberate choice, made by mature individuals who genuinely know what the decision to have a child means and are capable of taking responsibility for that child, physically, mentally and emotionally. Only then will we be creating a world where no child is unwanted; where every child is nurtured, protected, and above all, loved.
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Posted: Feb 11, 2009 4:12pm

 

 
 
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Angel Flinn
, 1
Kapaau, HI, USA
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