Population Control Is Unethical
An English writer named Thomas Multher in 1798 warned that the growing population might lead to negative consequences since the rate at which population is growing results in the extinguishing of the planet’s limited resources. Since then, the warning has ignited alarm and some countries have begun embracing population control measures. Population control measures are measures taken to control population growth to manageable levels. Population control can be done in several ways, including increasing death rates and reducing fertility or birth rates among citizens (Moses 20). However, most countries cannot use the former method thus, they opt for the latter. Control of birth rates can be coercive where people are forced to limit the number of births to a certain number and passive, where a population is encouraged to use birth control measures such as contraceptives.
Why are coercive population control measures unethical?
In short, birth control measures are unethical since people lack freedom of choice. Coercive population control measures are unethical because when a law is passed that everyone in a country is limited to one child, people may be forced to discard unintended pregnancies to avoid penalties. Additionally, many people will be forced to use contraceptives and birth control measures against their will for fear of penalties or disadvantages they may accrue in the event of a pregnancy.
Beyond that, coercive measures may do better in developed nations from the perspective of children helping helping their parents with labor because they have machinery that can substitute human labor. However, developing nations will be disadvantaged because they do not have enough machinery to take the place of human labor.
Population control is also unethical, given that the right to life for unborn babies is not respected when women are forced to abort. According to David Rust (75), “Any population control mechanism degrades the value of human life and is therefore morally unacceptable. According to this argument, advocates of population control instrumentalist human beings as just another metric for dealing with problems like resource limitation and land use.” Every living organism, especially human beings, has a right to life, and their life should not be terminated without their consent. (Moses 12) Taking their lives, either using coercive or passive measures, cannot be ethical since they have not partaken in the decision for life termination.
How control of population may bring sexism
Additionally, foreign population control investments have cultivated vices and the growth of biases such as sexism and racism. Control of population may bring sexism, for example, in China, where the government prefers a male child over a female child (Nie 5). This argument shows that people will be likely to keep a male but discard females in the process of abortion. Additionally, some countries with mixed races may advocate reducing the population in one race while leaving other races to continue with reproduction. Thus, there are ethical issues when countries focus on population control measures.
Population control, either forced (coercive) or passive (voluntary), is unethical for several reasons, including biases, deprivation of the right to life, and unfairness. Third-world countries are disadvantaged when the government requires the population to limit or stop reproduction since they do not have enough machinery to supplement human labor. On the other hand, voluntary population control measures deprive unborn babies of their right to life which is not morally acceptable. Another reason is the sprouting of vices such as sexism and racism in population control, which generates biases among people. In conclusion, population control is unethical as it goes against human rights.
Moses, Amit. Ethical aspects of abortion. Diss. The University of Zagreb. School of Medicine. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 2021.
Nie, Jing-Bao. “Abortion and China’s State Birth Control Program: A Socio-Ethical Inquiry.” Abortion. Springer, Cham, 2021. 241-256.
Rust, David Lucius. “The ethics of controlling population growth in the developing world.” Intersect The Stanford Journal of Science, Technology, and Society 3.1 (2010): 69-78.
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