Bioethicist Peter Singer compared women and children to cows overgrazing a field and said — at the global Women Deliver Conference last week, hailed as the most important meeting to focus on women and girls’ human rights in a decade — that women’s reproductive rights may one day have to be sacrificed for the environment.
It’s possible of course, that we give women reproductive choices, that we meet the unmet need for contraception but that we find that the number of children that women choose to have is still such that population continues to rise in a way that causes environmental problems,” he said. Women have more children because of their “ideological or religious views.”
Singer added that “greenhouse gases… are getting very close to a tipping point,” and climate change could become a “catastrophe and cause hundreds of millions or billions of people to become climate refugees.”
In that case, he said, “we need to consider whether we can talk about trying to reduce population growth and whether that’s compatible with the very reasonable concerns people have about women’s right to control their life decisions and their reproduction.”