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Dear Danielle: Why Do People Want to Have Children?

by Danielle Wright

The question, "Why do people want to have children?" is asked daily, and the answer is, of course, a personal choice.

Image Credit: J_art / Getty Images


However, the question comes as no surprise given today's climate - inflation, recession, the abandonment of the duty to protect fundamental rights, and so much more. It's rare to find a wholesome family structure in almost any community, with many women voicing their struggles via online platforms such as TikTok and Facebook.


Whether they're single moms, single but married, or mothers having to explain to their child why child support payments are not used to satiate their personal needs and desires, these are all reasons why many women are opting out of parenthood.


A recent viral post on Facebook from the account 'Mama Drama' shares a text screenshot between a mother and daughter. The daughter questions her mother on why the child support payments she receives from the father are being used to pay rent and fund a lifestyle for the child's siblings in addition to herself.


The mother, perturbed, turned to the internet for advice and take on the matter, to which the comments were staggering. Many women took the side of the child, believing that child support payments from her father should be used for her and her alone. While others believed that the child was being fresh for even speaking to her mother about money. But all in all, the consensus was, "Let's normalize not having children."


In an article published earlier this year, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shared that the number of births in the US continues to decline, repeating a decades-long trend, as nearly half of American women under 45 are childless.


About 52% of women between the ages of 15 to 44 gave birth between 2015 and 2019, a drop of nearly 55% in the prior four-year period. Mothers are no longer holding back their feelings on parenthood, with many admitting that the task is difficult and not worth it.


In June 2022, a devastating decision was made to abandon its duty to protect fundamental rights. The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling that there is no constitutional right to abortion. Fundamental rights are a group of rights that have been recognized by the Supreme Court as requiring a high degree of protection from government encroachment.


These rights are specifically identified in the Constitution or have been implied through interpretative clauses, such as Due Process. The Supreme Court's decision led to half of U.S. states immediately taking action to ban abortion outright, forcing people to travel long distances to access abortion care or to carry pregnancies against their will, an obvious violation of their human rights. So, while some people do want to have children, the statistics show a declining trend, in part due to this ruling.


RACIAL DISPARITY

We cannot ignore the existence of racial disparity. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women. Multiple factors contribute to this disparity, including variations in the quality of healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias, according to the CDC.


Dr. IIa Dayananda, Chief Medical Officer of Oula Health, shares, “The most common complications seen during childbirth are infection, hemorrhage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. With any pregnancy, your doctor is there to provide you with the advice and guidance required and to help you determine a game plan for both pregnancy and childbirth.”

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While the aforementioned is true, the latest development that highlights this disparity came when Kourtney Kardashian and her husband Travis Barker made headlines as she was rushed to the hospital for fetal surgery. Fetal surgery is a procedure performed on the fetus in utero, often to address life-threatening abnormalities or birth defects, according to research.


Many Black and Brown women flooded her comments to express that it must be nice to be a White woman with access to resources that can prevent harm to your unborn child. Others simply pointed out the distinction between the number of ultrasound appointments for the wealthy versus destitute mothers or the middle class.


It's believed that the transparency of women and mothers, or mothers-to-be, is what has caused many childless women to turn away from parenthood. Not to mention that many now believe the likelihood of being a single mom is 10 times higher than it was a decade ago. Men are having a hard time with commitment, let alone marriage or parenting.


Women who find themselves in situationships are oftentimes afraid to disclose to their sex partner that they are pregnant once they learn they are with a child. This is disheartening because even the women who say their pregnancies were planned still somehow end up as single moms demanding child support payments from the negligent parent.


Overall, parenthood should be a personal choice. As women, we should have the right to decide what we will and won’t allow to grow and develop in our bodies, whether it's for safety reasons, financial concerns, or simply bearing no interest in raising a child alone.


The choice should always be yours to make. I believe that more women should take precautionary measures to avoid pregnancy as much as possible considering that child-bearing is not a disease that spreads. There is a process and an action you have to perform to reach the stage of conception. So, if motherhood is not on your vision board, some good contraceptives should be.

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Of course, this does not factor in rape or molestation, whether in young girls or adult women. Women are never to blame in such instances, which is why our voices are so important on this matter. Women should continue to fight for our basic human rights. She’s SINGLE will continue to spread awareness and provide resources as much as possible.

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