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Government 'Green Advisor' calls for a two child per family limit

(32 Posts)
atowncalledalice Sun 01-Feb-09 16:26:38

Here: women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article5627634.ece

Hmm. I agree that people shouldn't have more children than they could adequately provide for, but I am cross that the government sees fit to dictate limits like this. The Times article also mentions abortion, and although I'm pro-choice I don't think it should be promoted as a method of contraception, which this advice seems to suggest...

What do people think?

DorisIsAPinkDragon Sun 01-Feb-09 16:46:31

I think that whlist 2 children may be approriate for HIS circumstance the idea of intervening in a decision that is personal to each couple is abhorant.

Whilst we are still encouraging (as a country) migrant workers to our shore to fill jobs and pay taxes, there is no need at present for this discussion.

We should never end up in a situation like china where children are aborted on the basis of their sex or number. Abortion is not a casual thing to take lightly and the emotional implications for the parents involved can not be under played.

My god this just takes the nanny state to the extreme, with no allowances for any religious beliefs at all !!!!

sarah293 Sun 01-Feb-09 16:49:14

Message withdrawn

atowncalledalice Sun 01-Feb-09 17:49:16

I only have two - I didn't want more. But if I had wanted more, I wouldn't have been dissuaded by a government directive! DS1's best friend is one of five and they're one of the happiest, most productive families I know.

Bollocks to the government.

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 17:57:48

Porritt is an arse, how convenient that he has 2, if he had one would his opinion change?

Before the latest East European immigration the UK birth rate had been below 2 for a very long time. Educated women have less children. Instead of advocating pressure on people to be environmentally responsible in their family planning he needs to focus on increasing education and healthcare access for poor women, this is the most successful way of limiting population.

pointydog Sun 01-Feb-09 18:05:14

Some environmentalists have been saying this for years now, decades.

It's an opinion, based on certain facts. It makes sense but of course most people will object to any advice of this sort.

If you don't like it, just ignore it. I do respect environmentalists' reasoning behind the opinion but they must know they'r e on a hiding to nothing. It's apoint of view, that's all. And quite a good one in many ways.

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 18:17:19

I just feel that this is far too simplistic. There are ways of lowering birth rate and simply telling people more children are bad for the environment is not very effective imo

pointydog Sun 01-Feb-09 18:20:20

I think raising awareness of environmental impact could be quite a good way of lowering birth rate amongst a certain sector of society.

High house prices and childcare costs was the best way of making us stick at two, though.

noonki Sun 01-Feb-09 18:20:56

can my third, be my sisters second (she's sticking at one!)

Unwelcome Sun 01-Feb-09 18:30:44

I'll prob get flamed here blush but I agree

expanding populations probably have one of the biggest impacts on the environment.

I'd love 3 but struggle with this idea morally. I am considering stopping at 2 for environmental reasons. At least with 2 DH and I will only be replacing us 2 with another 2.

It makes perfect sense from a big picture point of view but I dont think it should ever be strictly enforced at the level of individuals

But its certainly should at least be considered in family planning

onager Sun 01-Feb-09 18:52:35

"There are ways of lowering birth rate and simply telling people more children are bad for the environment is not very effective"

I agree it's not very effective. We'd need a law like in China, but what other ways of lowering the birth rate are you thinking of?

boccadellaverita Sun 01-Feb-09 19:03:36

I think it's perfectly reasonable to draw attention to the environmental impact of population growth. What isn't justified, in my view, is any intervention in the decisions about family size that parents make once they're in possession of that information.

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 19:05:41

Gosh I think China was pretty disasterous tbh. Educated women with access to good healthcare including free contraceptive have few children, hence the UK born birth rate being 1.7. Most women when given the choice and access to the labour market will chose to have children later if at all and will limit the number of children they have. I also think that we could do some work with our teenage girls to raise aspirations with the aim of lowering the teen pg rate. I don't think they are all clueless about contraceptive, I think many of them want to have children.

onager Sun 01-Feb-09 19:07:11

boccadellaverita, it's never going to sound nice, but if we don't limit the population we're only passing the problem onto the next generation.

peanutbutterkid Sun 01-Feb-09 19:08:21

I agree with boccadella. Parental controls on this pc blush won't let me access article in op, but I can't believe anybody is proposing legislation, just education.
I have 4, btw.

onager Sun 01-Feb-09 19:09:55

I should have said that I mean the world not just the UK. Though the UK is our first responsibility.

mistlethrush Sun 01-Feb-09 19:14:40

Do you think he would miraculously stop me having mc so that I could have a 2nd?

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 19:15:58

((hugs)) mistlethrush

S1ur Sun 01-Feb-09 19:17:24

I think wonderstuff talks sense.

wot she said.

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 19:19:24

When I rule the world it'll be great grin

S1ur Sun 01-Feb-09 19:22:34

heh, sure thang Wonderstuff. I'll make you a placard.

boccadellaverita Sun 01-Feb-09 19:28:52

Onager - I'm not sure I disagree with you!

It was my reading about the environment and population pressures etc which made me change my initial plan to have four children to a more modest two (I ended up with one, hey ho). I very much hope that raising awareness of the environmental impact of population growth, together with the trend for women to have fewer children as they gain better access to education and employment, will ease some of the pressures in the UK and worldwide. Until Porritt's intervention, this discussion seems to have been very muted, no doubt because it does go to the heart of people's personal life and choices.

But I think the example of China shows that (as well as being ethically problematic) government policies which seek to control family size don't work and can have disastrous unintended consequences (such as the gender imbalance in China as parents abort girl babies).

lou031205 Sun 01-Feb-09 19:32:26

Actually, the Chinese can have as many children as they like if they can afford to pay the fine.

Wonderstuff Sun 01-Feb-09 19:44:20

Does that make it ok lou? Lots of evidence of rural women being pressured into very late abortions in China

pointydog Sun 01-Feb-09 21:18:11

I didn't read it so much as a government policy as a govt initiative to improve family planning services. And there's n othing to say that initiatives to raise aspirations of teens couldn't be part of that.

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