A UN report published yesterday says "almost half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended." Meanwhile a Portland group calling itself "Stop Having Kids" claims "overwhelming support."

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Gay bars ain’t what they used to be—exclusively gay. In my hometown, the popular Spanish resort of Benidorm, there are around 30 LGBT+ venues, at least a dozen of which are clustered within a very small area.

On any night of the week, you will find heterosexual couples in these intimate bars, happily mingling with gay clients, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and the drag shows some of them lay on.

The reason I mention this is because it has a direct bearing on the work being done by a group called Stop Having Kids.

It was in one of these bars that I got to meet Michael and Amy last weekend, a UK couple on vacation who stumbled upon my local. Within minutes Michael had his cellphone out and was showing me a photo of his five-year-old son.

Frankly I am much more captivated by pictures of people’s pets. Nevertheless I made what I thought were all the right noises, trying to sound sincere as I cooed “how adorable,” “you must be very proud” and “he looks just like you.”

“Cut the crap,” said Michael. “Neither of us were ecstatic by his arrival. We hadn’t intended having him, because, quite frankly, we don’t think now is the time to bring a child into today’s messed-up world.”

To my relief he added:

Don’t get me wrong. We love him to bits and will do everything in our power to protect him and teach him tolerance of all people, whatever their color, religious views or sexual orientation.

Then I discovered a purse-lipped report in Church Leaders about an activist group in Portland, Oregon, which has been putting up billboards urging people not to have children. The report directed me to the Stop Having Kids website, which declares:

Stop Having Kids acknowledges that there is an unconscionable amount of needless suffering, injustice, and death in the world—with birth serving as the catalyst for it all. As a result, it is a moral imperative that we strive to minimize and prevent (not through coercion, pressure, or force) as many new lives as possible.

We advocate focusing our time, energy, and resources that would have otherwise been allocated towards supporting new life into caring for and improving the lives of already existing people and places. Our goal as a collective liberation movement (humans and nonhumans) is to publicize the often overlooked and misinterpreted antinatalist/vegantinatalist ideology and childfree lifestyle through a multi-layer approach.

Church Leaders believe the group are wrong for several reasons, the first being that they are encouraging people to violate God’s instruction to “be fruitful and multiply” — (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 1:9, Psalm 127:3-5).

The second is that the group is pro-choice, or in the words of reporter Jesse T Jackson, “pro-abortion.”

Jackson also pointed out that:

While ‘Stop Having Kids’ does promote adoption and foster care, they also stand for ‘Gender Role Nonconformity,’ which is more typically known by others as nonbinary, gender-neutral, or genderqueer.

Jackson’s report went on say that “pro-life advocate” and author Obianuju Ekeocha tweeted an image of a “Don’t Have Kids” billboard to her almost 116,000 followers last week, saying:

OMG. This is a real billboard in Portland Oregon. There is really a ‘Stop Having Kids’ movement.

Someone replied to her post, saying:

The truth is uncomfortable and is sometimes plain mean. But it is still the truth. Too many people and not enough resources on this planet is a problem. Plus climate change too.

Jackson’s report does point out that the group says they welcome both kids and parents to join their efforts in waking up the world as they get “humanity to embrace making more thoughtful and responsible choices,” claiming they have no antipathy towards children or parents.

Almost half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended

Then today (Thursday) I learned that new research by the U.N. Population Fund shows that 121 million pregnancies annually are unintended. It calls this “a neglected crisis.”

In its annual State of World Population Report 2022 released on Wednesday, the fund said over 60% of unintended pregnancies end in abortion and an estimated 45% of abortions are unsafe, causing 5% to 13% of maternal deaths.

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the fund—which now calls itself the U.N.’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency—said:

This report is a wakeup call. The staggering number of unintended pregnancies represents a global failure to uphold women and girls’ basic human rights. For the women affected, the most life-altering reproductive choice—whether or not to become pregnant—is no choice at all.

According to the organization’s research, an estimated 257 million women globally who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and modern methods of contraception, and in 47 countries about 40% of sexually active women were not using any contraceptive methods.

UN data this year looking at women of reproductive age in 64 countries showed that 23% were unable to say no to sex, 24% were unable to make decisions about their own health care, and 8% were unable to make decisions about contraception, the report said.

Together, this means that only 57% of women are able to make their own decisions over their sexual and reproductive rights.

U.N.’s Sexual and Reproductive Health agency

Kanem said that “preventing unintended pregnancies is a non-negotiable first step” toward gender equality.

When individuals are able to exercise real informed choice over their health, bodies and futures, they can contribute to more prosperous societies and a more sustainable, equitable and just world.

Image via YouTube

I was alerted by email to the research by someone called Ajay Bruno who said that Austin Ruse, above, President of the Center for Family and Human Rights, and author of Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic, was appalled by the study, and that he was available to give interviews about it. The email said:

There is no globally recognized right to abortion, and this report is attempting to suggest a significant number of circumstances where it should be considered a ‘human right.’

They are attempting to lump every situation of unintended pregnancy together, conflating rape as being on the same level as people who choose to terminate the lives of unborn children for simple personal convenience.

Dr. Kanem seems to be very biased towards favoring widespread access to abortion-on-demand, something completely inappropriate for what should be a neutral agency.

Church Leaders prompted me to check out several videos posted to YouTube by Stop Having Kids, and I was gratified to see that they also have deep concerns about inhumane farming methods. That alone, to my mind makes them the good gals and guys.

Image via YouTube

Christianity Daily picked up on the group’s activities, saying that it conducts sidewalk operations where it promotes the messages of “Normalize Antinatalism” and “Parenthood Regret Is a Silent Epidemic.” The street outreach aims to talk to as many people as possible about being child-free and wishing they had never been born.

At one of their recent events, the group explained on Instagram that they received way more positive reactions to their message than negative. It said:

In 10 hours of outreach over the last two days in very busy areas the amount of negative reactions we’ve received can’t even be counted on two hands, while the support we’ve received has been overwhelming to say the least.

Avatar photo

Veteran journalist and free speech activist Barry Duke was, for 24 years, editor of The Freethinker magazine, the second oldest continually active freethought publication in the world, established by G.W....