Tuesday, August 18, 2015

OVERPOPULATION and IMMIGRATION in AMERICA? And, OH I'm pregnant!?!

“Immigration is the chief reason that U.S. population is still growing—native born Americans reproduce below replacement level…”  (source indicated near end of my post)   


“When it comes to climate change, there is no shortage of scientists willing to speak out about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So if humanity is breaking “planetary boundaries” and imperiling, in the process, humanity’s future, why aren’t more scientists speaking publicly about the population trajectory and its implications?”
(source indicated near end of my post)   


 I was the kind of person who wasn’t going to reproduce unless my personal circumstances were appropriate. I didn’t want to be a single mother knowing full-well the amount of work and stress it would entail. Also, at one point I had researched the statistics of children raised in 1 parent vs. 2 parent households and I came to the conclusion based on the data, that 2 parent households were generally better. Overall, this is certainly true when considering a number of variables related to the long-term wellbeing of a child. (There are obviously exceptions to this rule, but I like large samples and large studies because they offer more predictability than relying on exceptions to rules). I am old-fashioned and think that a father-figure is essential for children—despite the current views in popular culture.

There are over 9 million single mothers in the United-States https://singlemotherguide.com/single-mother-statistics/. 45% of single mother headed households live below the poverty line. For single father households, 21% live below the poverty line.  I am fully aware that single mothers usually do not set out on a course to “become single mothers”. Many of these individuals are dealt a bad hand and through unfortunate circumstances end up having to raise their children alone.

I knew that I wanted to be in a stable relationship, married, and in the right position financially and emotionally to care for the needs of a baby—especially when their brain development was at its most plastic and vulnerable.  For these reasons I had been on birth control for the past 10 years—waiting for the right time and right person—if this was ever to happen. Thankfully, after two long-term relationship attempts, I did meet the right person.

With a year of marriage under my belt and both mine and my husband’s schooling complete, we decided that I should quit birth control. We both realized that I was no longer at the fertile age of 28—indeed, several years past this—and that fertility rates begin to decline for women in their mid-thirties. We were open to having children but also knew that we would never resort to expensive, extensive medical procedures to “make it happen” if it didn’t happen naturally. We decided that we could be happy either way.

To our surprise, we found out that we were pregnant one month after I stopped taking birth control pills! We are both ecstatic to welcome the arrival of our baby in October 2015! 

 My pregnancy has been very rough. This past year I have been plagued with almost constant nausea and vomiting, baby brain, radiculopathy that radiates down my right leg and intense, constant pressure in my abdomen that it feels like I’m wearing a corset cinched up so tightly that I’m going to explode. I feel uncomfortable most of the time and my motivation has sunk to an all time low. Thankfully, my husband has been very supportive. Also, I got a bunch of tests done and found out that my chances of having a healthy baby are high—Down Syndrome risk is 1/10,000 (as a woman hits her mid-thirties, she has to start being concerned about these things).

Since becoming pregnant for the very first time, I have, ironically, found myself attuned to any headline, article or study that deals with overpopulation. I have always been concerned about overpopulation and overconsumption by human beings on our planet. I still maintain my stance that humans should be conscientious in their decision to procreate.

My opinion is that a woman’s reproductive choice must be guided by facts and information—she must be socially and ecologically conscious in her choice. In other words, it isn’t a good idea to procreate with a sociopath (not socially beneficial) and not a good idea just to procreate because “My clock is ticking” or “I think having children will fulfill me”.  It isn’t a good idea to procreate on a whim or procreate thinking, “The Government will pay for my hospital bill, my child’s school lunches, my apartment rent etc.” One must think through this BIG decision first and make sure they have adequate means to take care of their little creation. 

I’m a big fan of family planning! If you have found the right person with whom to raise your child—and you are responsible, well, I have nothing to say against your choice.

Yes, I fully realize that adding more people to the planet will have an impact. This is something that I’ve had to grapple with and come to terms with. I had been averse to overpopulation, but look at me—here I’m contributing to it!

OF COURSE….THOSE ARE JUST MY OPINIONS WHICH ARE ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE….

Anyways, so my husband is subscribed to the secular humanist magazine “Free Inquiry” that Center for Inquiry puts out. My husband has been receiving it for 5+ years now. We both love this magazine so much that we find ourselves fighting for it over the breakfast table. The July 2015 issue is controversial and deals with “Population, Immigration and the Global Future”.  After reading some of the articles in this issue, I must say that I have been deeply ignorant about the status of overpopulation and immigration in the United-States.

 I had been reading articles on the internet about the declining birth rate in the United-States but I didn’t realize that this statistic was almost exclusively tied to the reproductive habits of native born American women (women who are born in the U.S. whose parents were born in the U.S. whose grandparents were born in the U.S. and so on and so forth).  This statistic is not true for immigrants—at least according to the article.

According to the article:

“Most Californians are barely reproducing themselves, but many immigrant families are averaging as many as three children. Now with 38 million people, at the current rate of growth, the California Department of Finance, Division of Demography, projects population will be 54 million by 2040. In 1970 the state’s population was less than 20 million. Nearly all of California’s population growth in just the last ten years was due to immigration and births to foreign-born women.” --- U.S. Immigration and the Limits of Supporting Earth Resources (CFI July 2015 excerpt from article)

The articles in this CFI July 2015 issue deal with immigration and overpopulation and seeks to show the inextricable link to human population and environmental/ecological issues that our
planet currently faces. From carbon emissions to decreased fertile soil and a reduced water supply, overpopulation is a major culprit. The concept is extremely easy. With more people on the planet, the more we will be affected by the consequences of too many people; too much waste and not enough space!

I thought it was interesting (and highly controversial) that this secular humanist, liberal magazine suggested that the American government consider the factor of overpopulation as a reason to make its immigration policies more stringent. It is quite bold to pose such a suggestion—especially for any media portal that considers itself to be liberal (I usually think of liberals as being more tolerant of immigration and diversity).  However, after reading all of these articles, I see that it is very difficult to argue with the evidence.



6 comments:

  1. For some reason, I _knew_ you were. ;) Huge congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww Thankyou Les! We are very excited!

      Delete
  2. congratulations! i myself became a father last year...and both, my wife and i, due to our ages, went through some harrowing times worrying about down's syndrome... but my cousin, who is also the leading gynaecologist in our town, did all the tests and reassured us that the chances of a healthy baby are indeed very high....and so, here we are, with a beautiful and healthy girl who is about to celebrate her first birthday!

    btw, though the pregnancy is fun (at least for the to-be father, i can say with confidence), the real fun begins at childbirth... watching your baby grow is perhaps incomparable as an experience to any other i have ever had in my life

    congratulations once again on the news... i can see you'd make a fantastic mother. all the best to you and the to-be dad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou so much for the congratulations Kedar! We are super excited but also have a lot to learn as we become new parents. Congrats on your baby girl too... That is what we are having :). Yes, watching the baby grow will be tremendously rewarding. Both my husband and I can't wait.

      Delete
  3. congratulations! i myself became a father last year...and both, my wife and i, due to our ages, went through some harrowing times worrying about down's syndrome... but my cousin, who is also the leading gynaecologist in our town, did all the tests and reassured us that the chances of a healthy baby are indeed very high....and so, here we are, with a beautiful and healthy girl who is about to celebrate her first birthday!

    btw, though the pregnancy is fun (at least for the to-be father, i can say with confidence), the real fun begins at childbirth... watching your baby grow is perhaps incomparable as an experience to any other i have ever had in my life

    congratulations once again on the news... i can see you'd make a fantastic mother. all the best to you and the to-be dad!

    ReplyDelete
  4. And there was much rejoicing (YYYEEEAAAHHH!!!).

    No seriously, there is alot of rejoicing. At least I am.
    Congratulations!!!!

    ReplyDelete