September 2020

by Laura Lewis MD, CCFP

These ads stopped my scroll through Facebook. I instantly felt many things – shock, concern, and even some offence. And I thought, Is this conversation really happening in Canada?

My mind Is filled with many concerns and questions. 

  • We know about the devasting human rights violations of China’s One-Child Policy. Is this being overlooked?
  • We also know about the disrupted social structures caused by sex-selective abortions. A practice with the potential to cause long-term shifts in the proportions of women and men, thus creating a “marriage squeeze” as grooms outnumber prospective brides?
  • There are already selective terminations based on chromosomes, such as with Down syndrome. Would this increase it?

I’m equally concerned that this narrative will cause young women or couples to believe they are selfish if they choose to have children. This false perception could prevent them from embracing each child as a gift. I also wonder about the couple who ideologically buys into the idea of one-child planet stewardship but have a second unexpected pregnancy – where does this lead them?

As I was voicing my concerns, a wise friend suggested, “Well, their ads have been quite effective – they have you talking about this, and don’t they have the right to put forward these thoughts in a free and democratic country?”

Although I strongly question the concept promoted in the ad, I agree with the need to create space for respectful conversations.  It is my prayer that questions will be raised and the potential dangers of this type of messaging be explored and discussed. Because although we do need to consider the welfare of our planet, I would argue that it should not be at the expense of our unborn children.

Originally published on the Pregnancy Care Canada blog