The human race nears extinction--is forcing a woman to give birth acceptable?

In another thread that I didn’t want to hijack too badly, Bryan Ekers posted:

A few people objected to that, and I figured I’d take it to another thread.

My opinion was that it’s not worth it. If the human race has to rely on something this barbaric to sustain itself, maybe it should go extinct.

The same logic could be used to impregnate a woman against her will, by sex or other means.

So I vote hell in the naw.

One alarming aspect of this isn’t so much a catastrophic event, but just the slow reduction in childbirth through much of the developed world that causes a lot of handwringing.

Already, there are reasons why more babies might benefit society or certain segments of society. The idea that if things just get bad enough it’s okay to force women to bear children leaves open some pretty awful ideas of what “bad enough” is.

No; the idea is barbaric. And it just reeks of an excuse to impregnate women by force in much less extreme situations. After all, if humanity was really on the edge of extinction, it seems highly implausible to me that women wouldn’t simply volunteer. Especially with the kinds of incentives that could be offered for what after all would be saving humanity.

In the Children of Men scenario? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I am as pro-choice as the next guy, but with the future of the race at stake.

Sorry, honey, but you gotta give it up for the good of mankind.


Yes it is acceptable, as rape would be in the same circumstances. But it is an absurd hypothetical, so I wouldn’t really worry about it Mr. Trihs.

How “pro-choice” are you really, then? If it’s really about the woman’s body, it should be her choice in every situation.

And Angry Lurker, you’re not serious, are you?

No, it wouldn’t be acceptible.

Of course, for this situation to arrive, every fertile woman on earth would have to wish for the species to go extinct, or else they would be having babies willingly. Which would basically mean that half or more of the population wants it to go extinct. And who am I to argue with democracy? So it’s not only unacceptible, I don’t even think it’s necessary.

Well, to make it clear, in the Children of Men scenario, pretty much everyone is infertile. So it would be a case of the one woman on earth who can conceive getting pregnant but not wanting to see the baby to term.

I’m pretty strongly pro-choice, but I don’t think outlawing abortion is an evil strong enough to justify the extinction of the human race.

Hmm, I missed that movie, and am only vaguely remembering the preview now.

Okay, in that case it’s necessary (based on the democratic wishes of the society to survive). Still not acceptible, though, so I say No Go.

To me, the human race is only as valuable as our ethics. If we abandon those, we are worthless.

Pro-choice enough to recognize the limitations of the stance.

I am against theft too, but stealing to feed your family is not a sin.

I mean, come on here.


There are cultural, societal and economic pressures on people that regulate our population. As overpopulation approaches, people starve to death and kill each other. I would assume in a human-race-nears-extinction scenario that there would be considerable pressure on people to reproduce. In this type of environment, the die-hards who refuse to bear children would probably constitute an insignificant number. Not to mention that a woman who doesn’t want her child probably wouldn’t be the best mother for it. (I’m not saying that all women who’ve had or considered an abortion are bad mothers; just that if the time isn’t right, it isn’t right.

Remember also that in Children of Men, it was not possible to have babies. So I’m not sure what kind of extinction scenario you are envisioning where the only thing standing in the way of humanity’s future is a bunch of stubborn women. If it is at all biologically possible to have children, I think I can guarantee that women will continue having them.

Finally, I’m not sure I consider the human race worth saving. There are certain people worth saving, and I ethically extend that consideration to everyone alive, since everyone has a person in their life who doesn’t want to see them dead. But hypothetical future people? I’m not sure we owe them life. Once we’ve determined to grant them life, then we owe lots of things to the societies and people of the future. But I don’t think I would necessarily consider it a tragedy if they were never to exist at all.

Its unacceptable, not because I’m a prude about rights when it comes to the extinction of humanity, but because I dont see any great convincing reason why humanity should live. Sure, I want to live, but only because dying is scary. But it wouldn’t make much of a difference to me whether or not humanity survives in a hundred years. The universe would go on as it always has, as its done for far longer than humanity has been a blip on the surface of some rocky planet

It’s still a crime, though, 24601. We don’t have to approve of it.
Plus I see false equivalence between turning a woman into brood mare, and stealing a loaf of bread from somebody with plenty.

I think this pretty much sums up what I feel. If I were that lone pregnant woman in said society, I think I might be tempted to say no, and see what happens. If people were trying to force me into it, I’d say screw it and take my own life (or, if I could, the life of the kid) just because what’s the point? I’d be contributing against my will to something terrible.

Actually in such a case, where it’s not like the Children of Men, but more borderline/slowed down, I could sort of see a repressive regime on the order of Handmaid’s Tale emerging. I think it’s one thing to say, “Suck it up, we’re all going to die because we’re all infertile.” But if it’s just a slowed down rate? That is, we’ve got enough to keep going…but barely? I could see a lot of people thinking, “Well, it’s for the greater good. And it’s not EVERY woman, it’s just the few that happen to be fertile.”

The Children of Men scenario doesn’t seem as creepy. But when you look at the Handmaid’s Tale one, it seems a lot more chilling because it’s not a one time thing and when you start to think it’s a good idea to tell a woman she has to give birth because it’s for the good of society, then where do you stop? You’ve already limited the autonomy of a class of people. How do we limit what we’re going to do to those women?

Okay, I shouldn’t hijack the thread, but I gotta ask: how was one woman’s one baby supposed to save humanity in that movie? Seems like stopping a flood with a single pebble to me.

I think it’s creepier because it’s simply more plausible.

After all, some very scary websites already seem to suggest that preventing white women from aborting or using contraceptives is necessary for the survival of the “white race.” The “we have to outbreed them” scaries exist.

Some countries pay women to have babies, so it’s not as if “more babies are necessary!” isn’t already out there in these forms. I guess that’s what makes me think, “Wait. Who gets to define what dire need is? Who gets to decide what’s bad enough?”

“We desire babies. You must provide them.” Creepy indeed.