Reproductive freedom

Question of the Day April 11, 2012 – Reproductive Freedoms

Recently in the US news, there was a great uproar over Reproductive Freedoms. This was manifested in actions against Planned Parenthood and in government mandates for the coverage of birth control.
Do you believe that government should play any role in reproductive issues?
Do you think that overpopulation should be a consideration?
Do you think that women should be forced to go through with a pregnancy for which they lack adequate resources of basic necessities, including financial support, or emotional maturity?
Who should take responsibility for these children that are born in unfortunate circumstances, if so?

Really interesting set of questions Deb

Certainly I believe that government should play a role in reproductive issues. I believe the role should be around, research, education and empowerment.
According to several leading experts in the field (like Aubrey de Grey) medical technology is extending lifespans faster than we are aging (if we follow healthy diets (mainly fresh plant based nutrition), and get reasonable exercise. In such a situation, it will very quickly become essential that the birth rate fall sharply.
Making people aware of this issue, and giving them reliable and sound information upon which to make decisions is a major role for government.
I do not support making of laws on the subject – informed choice should be sufficient.

As mentioned above, over-population is definitely a consideration, and I do not subscribe to any of the panic scenarios that say we need to drastically reduce populations quickly. With appropriate technologies, we could support 20 billion humans in far greater comfort and security than we experience now, and in a smaller ecological footprint than we have now; but not if we hold on the the holy grail of the free market and money as the key influence in making our decisions. Markets are great tools for allocating scarce resources efficiently, but they are very poor tools for creating real abundance of anything (abundance that reaches every individual).

I think all individuals have not only the right, but the responsibility, to control their own fertility.
I do not believe that any person ought to be forced by law to carry any parasite; and until a child is capable of life free of its mother’s womb, it is definitely a parasite on the mother.
And for the sake of complete clarity, I am not an advocate of abortion as a regular method of birth control. I have seen several young women undergo severe emotional distress as a result of abortions. I strongly advocate birth control methods that prevent fertilisation. And there is a case for abortion in some circumstances, and that ought to be the choice of the individuals involved.

We as a community are all responsible for ourselves first up, and everyone else after that.

No man is an island.
We all exist in complex webs of reliance on the efforts of others, for all the language and technology and concepts we use, and in so many other ways also.

So while I am in a political sense a classical liberal, advocating free choice and individual responsibility, I am also a scientific realist who acknowledges the relationship of all things on many different levels. We are all part of much larger ecological and social systems.
We all share in a responsibility of care for all others; and with remarkably little effort, we could develop systems that would ensure a high basic standard of living to every individual – no exceptions. The major barrier to doing so is the false belief that monetary value and human values are equivalent.
What is good for the market, is very often not at all good for us.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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1 Response to Reproductive freedom

  1. ” …informed choice should be sufficient.”

    education, Education, EDUCATION!


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