In an ideal world, women would only conceive when they wanted to.

(44 Posts)

Go ahead and try to find something wrong with that statement.

SardineQueen Tue 10-Jul-12 09:14:51

I don't know really. Just the idea that it's irresponsible to say that women should only conceive when they want to... I don't get it. SGB's OP is obviously referring to the fact that most women in the world are not able to control their fertility. Clearly there is not a problem with fertility around the world - humans seem to be pretty good at procreating. And when women can choose, they usually choose (unsurprisingly) not to put their bodies under the huge stress and danger of frequent pregnancy and birth.

Maybe you could elaborate Pan.

EclecticShock Tue 10-Jul-12 19:15:16

I agree actually, there is a broader picture here. The child's rights and fathers rights need to be considered. Although, you can't take away a woman's right to conceive, she may not be suitable to look after the child, I.e a heroin addict. Men also have a right to whether a women conceived their child, inthe case of not wantifng to have a child with the woman. Also, I guess pan was talking about cases were women had several children and can't provide for them. However, I don't think these are the scenarios the op was inferring.

Ah see, I read the OP and immediately thought of my own situation, which was that I didn't want children (ever), got pregnant by accident (ie definitely did not want to) and discovered (to my amazement) that I really did want to have the baby.

So to me, only conceiving when you have made a postive decision to do so would actually have been a worse option. I am grateful that it is not possible to plan everything.

But reading it in the sense of having access to contraception etc, then yes, I agree. But as a blanket statement that applies to all women in every situation, no.

ThePan Tue 10-Jul-12 21:15:52

What sort of rush blood to the head exactly did I suffer from when I thought it prudent to question the OP? On MN?? Crumbs.

The OP wasn't being specific at all about the whys and wherefores re global scopes - it just reads as 'she can do what suits her no matter what'. On the other hand the links and witnessings of Mme Lindor in Kenya is a sobering reminder of what happens in that society (and others ) where women are made vulnerable to being 'permanently pregnant' from an early age. Sometimes until death. And that experience has been evident in Ireland (esp rural Ireland) in recent times, so you don't have to travel too far to have the evidence.

But of course the entire 'debate' is underscored by the word 'ideal' which implies some milk-and-honey land where resourcing is no issue, there is no male pressure to demonstrate their virility through continual conception, and there is someone to love each and every child born.
Having been party to incidents of women who get repeatedly pregnant, through choice, with little or no prospect of being capable of providing any decent future ( and I don't mean just financially) for the children, I don't think I am morally wrong, or by way of being 'oppressive' to suggest the OP is relying on the word 'ideal' to assert this particular womens 'right'.

So on reflection, it's a load of old bollocks from the start.

EclecticShock Tue 10-Jul-12 21:42:24

I see your point pan, I just think possibly the op wasn't looking at the wider picture, more from a feminist viewpoint. But I agree with you.

DowagersHump Tue 10-Jul-12 21:48:04

But Pan, those 'kind of women' (although presumably there were men involved in the conception too - interesting how they always get left out of the pregnancies hmm ) would get pregnant anyway.

Many of the world's problems are caused by women not being able to control their own fertility.

ThePan Tue 10-Jul-12 22:06:17

Dowager - I'm not sure exactly what you mean by those kind of women, but I can speculate.

Overall, regarding world's problems caused by lack of control over fertility, I'd agree up to a v long way with you - the rest of the 'problem' is that we have the means to feed and take care of a population about five times the current population, in total. ( I read this a few years ago, so the actually numbers may have changed). It's just that we don't have any political or economic will to do that. I'm not advocating we continue to test that theory, with the heavy consequences on those individual women, and woeful supply of contraceptive choice and basic availability is a direct cause of those consequences. Having fewer children may be an answer ( in the industrialised West I think the birth rate is slowing) and of course massively better access to contraception would probably the single most effective intervention.

DowagersHump Tue 10-Jul-12 22:17:02

Pan - I was paraphrasing: "women who get repeatedly pregnant, through choice, with little or no prospect of being capable of providing any decent future" is what you said. I think 'those kind of women' is a fair summary, given the judgement that was in that statement (and again, no opprobrium for the men involved - why not?).

Access to contraception for all women would go a long way to addressing some of the horrendous issues that MmeL talks about in her blog.

In summary, I agree with SGB

ThePan Tue 10-Jul-12 22:27:20

fwiw of course it's a 'judgement', but not an unkind, inaccurate or groundless observation.
No opprobrium for the men involved. Why do you think that is?

I'd speculate that it's cultural, economic and political both in industrialised and developing countries, where men generally get to exercise life options at the cost to women, children and less 'powerful' men.

Interesting how uncomfortable some people are about the idea of women choosing what happens to their own bodies, isn't it?

Women should only concieve when they want to.
Women should be able to concieve when they want to.

So women should have easy access to effective contraception and the right to avoid PIV. Anyone like to point out any reason why that shouldn't happen?

Women should be able to concieve when they want to, without having to suffer the misery of persistent infertility. OK, that's an ideal-world thing simply because some people do have fertility issues and there isn't always an easy solution to those. But as an aspiration I don't see a problem with it; some women will only want to have one child, or maybe two, and plenty of women will not want to have any.

nailak Tue 10-Jul-12 22:31:54

i dont agree tbh

how many people have kids by accident? and how many of those mothers treasure and love their kids? most of them tbh.

Most people ime dont spend years trying to actively conceive but it happens when it happens, due to not using contraception in marriage, or failure of contraception, not taking pill on time, condom burst etc.

But these mistakes are happy mistakes.

If we waited for the perfect time to have kids, many of us I am sure will still be childless. I certainly wouldnt have my 3, but I am glad I do. It worked out for the best in the end.

nailak Tue 10-Jul-12 22:32:56

yes women should have access to contraception and the right to avoid PIV.

Dolallytats Wed 11-Jul-12 08:29:23

'Women should only concieve when they want to.
Women should be able to concieve when they want to'

See, this is the bit I actually think is a little squiffy although I suspect this will make me seem like someone who is uncomfortable with the ' women choosing what happens to their own bodies' and I am not. I don't believe that women should be forced to conceive, but the above statement takes any joint decision away from the father. Does he not have a choice? The baby is theirs, not solely hers and should the decision to conceive not reflect that? I'm fully aware of feckless parents, people that don't deserve children etc but, in a loving relationship, should the (potential) father get no choice??

Trills Wed 11-Jul-12 08:35:20

I think you need to say both.

Women would conceive when they wanted to, and women would not conceive if they did not want to.

But in an ideal world this would somehow also be paired with

Men would become fathers when they wanted to, and men would not become fathers i they did not want to.

Not sure we can balance that, even if we get the biology bit sorted!

You see, I don't think the 'in agreement with the potential father' bit needs saying. Partly because women can get donor sperm if they so wish, and partly because a man who doesn't wish to become a father can avoid doing so by taking responsibility for contraception or avoiding PIV.

EdithWeston Wed 11-Jul-12 10:31:27

It's a good example of an apple pie statement.

I'm not sure it gets us anywhere, though. The focus report on SKY today about avoidable maternal deaths (biggest killer of teen girls in some parts of the world) shows the work that needs to be done and the places where it is most urgent.

Dahlen Wed 11-Jul-12 11:40:47

From a women's right's POV totally agree.

From a child's POV, I feel no one should be allowed to have children unless they can prove they are capable of being a fit parent. wink

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think it really only applies in countries and cultures where women do not have easy access to contraception and are not regarded as equal.

I'm not sure I agree with the right-to-fertility argument (which would surely apply to both men and women anyway).
And agree with nailak about having kids by accident (as was the case with me).

I think I would prefer the statement to be "In an ideal world, women would only have a baby if and when they wanted to". Though that's probably not perfect either.

kickassangel Sat 14-Jul-12 16:11:34

hmm, I agree totally that women should have control over their own bodies, BUT I also think that men do have some rights and responsibilities about becoming fathers as well.

The fact that women are the ones who have children make this a really hard discussion. The 'fair' answer is that both men and women should be able to make good choices about reproducing BUT given that women have to have the baby it influences the discussion.

I do see a lot of happy couples where the woman's choice of number of children is pretty much deferred to, e.g. she really doesn't want another or really does, and the father is a bit ambiguous so goes along with the choice. So the women are getting to call 'top trumps' on the issue in that situation. I see that as a practical compromise.

Obviously, where sex/pregnancy are being used to control the woman that is not right.

But I have known women who don't want kids but the man does. Of course he didn't force her to get pregnant, but they did split up.

I think in our society we need to raise our kids to know that they should talk about these things first before committing to a relationship. And that we should continue to campaign for access to contraception for all people, along with education about why/how women (and men) can choose to plan their families.

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