“That she bear children is not a woman’s significance.
But that she bear herself,
that is her supreme and risky fate.”
-D. H. Lawrence
“Procreation is not the only meaning of life, for then life in itself would become meaningless, and something which in itself is meaningless cannot be rendered meaningful merely by its perpetuation.”
– Viktor Frankl, M.D., Ph.D., Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor
“…any adult who looks to her children to redress the losses of her own life should probably get out of the parenting business for good.” –Jennifer Finney Boylan from She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.
“I never thought I was doing anyone a favour by bringing children into the world. With people as cruel to each other as they are, it’s a terrible proposition. The best of lives are sad and tragic. The best of them. My general conclusion is that it’s not a nice thing to do. The world doesn’t need it. The kid doesn’t need it.” (Woody Allen)
“Here’s the thing. I hate kids. Always have.
I mean, I know the job of the race, biologically speaking, is to achieve immortality through reproduction, but the idea of getting impregnated and blowing up like a balloon as I serve as a carrier and service unit for this other person who will eventually burst out of me in the most terrifying way imaginable, then carry on using me one way or another for the rest of my life, is right up there with throwing myself off the top of a twenty-story building. If I have a biological clock, it is digital and does not tick.”
–Isobelle Carmody, Under My Hat
“She was not, herself, hugely in favor of motherhood in general. Obviously it was necessary, but it wasn’t exactly difficult. Even cats managed it. But women acted as if they’d been given a medal that entitled them to boss people around. It was as if, just because they’d got the label which said “mother”, everyone else got a tiny part of the label that said “child”…”
–Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum
“Creating new people, by having babies, is so much a part of human life that it is rarely thought even to require a justification. Indeed, most people do not even think about whether they should or should not make a baby. They just make one. In other words, procreation is usually the consequence of sex rather than the result of a decision to bring people into existence. Those who do indeed decide to have a child might do so for any number of reasons, but among these reasons cannot be the interests of the potential child. One can never have a child for that child’s sake.”
–David Benatar, Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence
“American parents love their children. But it’s not enough to say that the sacrifices are worth it because of how great your kids are. If the love that people have for their children were enough, then why do 20 percent of new mothers experience depression? Why do some parents abandon or abuse their children? If having children is the best and most wonderful thing we have ever done, then how do we explain to our bundles of joy that a third of them were unplanned?”
–Jessica Valenti, “Why Have Kids?”
“I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born, but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth.”
~ Sister Joan Chittister