The decision to parent should be your own decision; society shouldn’t be making that decision for you. The childfree choice is one viable, rational and even emotional response to the state of our world.
This marks the final episode in our special series of One Planet, One Child Billboard Campaign episodes. These billboards will celebrate small-family decisions. Be sure to pledge your support for the campaign at OnePlanetOneChild.org before funding closes at midnight Pacific Time the night of March 7. We need YOUR help to solve world overpopulation!
Neither the campaign nor this podcast is an attempt to dictate your parenting decision. That is yours to make. In celebration of the childfree choice as one honorable path to help solve world overpopulation, we welcome returning guest, Childfree Choice expert, Laura Carroll! Having spent over 30 years researching this subject, Laura is best known for authoring The Baby Matrix and Families of Two.
On the subject of having children, to this day, Laura confirms, “the assumption is you will have them; it’s just a matter of when…. The messaging is we will all reproduce, and we all should want to reproduce. And if you don’t, you want to get sterilized, there must be something wrong – with you.”
Included in this episode’s discussion: “Family planning” has been about “when” you’re going to have your kids, not “whether” you were going to have any. It’s still very challenging, medically, to make this choice. There are still many, many medical providers who are reluctant to provide sterilization for younger woman who request it. In fact, Laura tells us there is a term for providers who assume you’re going to want kids at some point in your life – medical paternalism (but it’s not just the male doctors who are guilty of this).
In this episode we discuss how today’s adversity – concerns about the climate crisis, primarily – is driving a rapid culture shift, with more and more young women choosing not to bring children into this world. Laura also celebrates the fact that the conversation about being childfree by choice has come a long way in the last twenty years.
This episode is especially important for childfree Co-Host, Erika Arias, as she is determined to research the social and environmental contributions of the childfree community. Motivated by reducing stigmatization and generating more public awareness for how reproductive choices can either support or undermine environmental goals towards sustainability, we discuss what is missing from family planning programs, and why a cultural shift that recognizes the population-environment connection is vital.
As a special treat, stay tuned for a quick update on Laura’s childfree longitudinal study as she enters data analysis phase!
This episode was published March 5, 2020.