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In the new release, The Ethics of Vaccination, Alberto Giubilini argues, “Vaccination raises ethical issues about the responsibilities of individuals, communities, and states in preventing serious and potentially life-threatening infectious diseases.”

Vaccination is about the collective responsibility to protect the herd through the choices we make ourselves. Can the same be said in regards to family planning?

The Wall Street Journal’s Mark Oppenheimer said last fall, “…People should do what they want to do…And those of us who want five children should have them.” Father Rennier, who urges parents to have as many as God will allow, is another example of short-sighted thinking that ignores the needs of kids and the community.

Like the anti-vax movement, it is isolationist thinking. The days of seeing family as the building of our own little kingdoms is over. Such a view ignores the attention and resources that every child deservesSeeing kids as personal property is also a disaster for the world. Parents who choose to have large families do so without consideration for their impact on animals, the environment, or rising inequality.

As with vaccinating, don’t we all have a responsibility do our part for the good of the whole? In this case, to plan our families in a way that is conscientious of the needs of both our kids and the world around us?

Thoughtful family planning means delaying parenthood and having no more than two kids. Communities who do so make for increased stability, less crowding, a smaller impact on the planet, greater investment in each child, and more shared resources for everyone to get a fair start in life. Cooperating means better outcomes for all. 

When we think of it in terms of the best interest of kids, it’s a no brainer.


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