Sustainability, population and reproductive ethics

| October 16, 2023 | Leave a Comment

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Publication Info: doi: 10.48095/cccg2023190

Date of Publication: June

Year of Publication: 2023

Publication City: Prague, Czech Republic

Publisher: Care Comm

Author(s): Jan Greguš

Journal: Česká gynekologie. 190-199

Volume: 88

Pages: 190-199


Introduction: The paper explores the links between sustainability, population, and reproductive ethics, because sustainability goals and population matters both imply ethical commitments.

Materials and methods: This article is based on a critical analysis of current scientific and philosophical literature on sustainability, population, and reproductive ethics.

Results: The idea of sustainability, as enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is a concept whose goal is to protect the environment, strengthen human communities and foster prosperity; in other words, to create a world in which all can thrive and prosper. However, humanity is moving quickly in the opposite direction. The main causes of unsustainability are excessive human numbers and the excessive human economic activity to which they lead. Sustainability is achievable, but it requires a sustainable human population. According to the latest studies, that is somewhere around three billion humans. Reaching this goal requires targeting all four reachable roots of the population’s growth. Supportive measures, such as voluntary family planning, education, and empowerment, combat (1) unwanted fertility and (2) coerced fertility. However, (3) population momentum and (4) wanted fertility also must be addressed.

Conclusion: The latter two can be approached by promoting the reproductive ethics of small families, ideally one-child families, as a new global ethical norm.

Keywords: sustainability – population – overpopulation – consumption – Sustainable Development Goals – contraception – family planning – reproductive ethics – one-child ethics – philosophy of overpopulation

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