Just days after U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned the environmental cost of having children on an Instagram Live Q&A, two women in the U.K. appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show to share why they have gone on a “BirthStrike.”
Blythe Pepino, founder of BirthStrike, told the BBC broadcaster that she would not be having kids. She shared that she is “terrified” to bring a child into the world because of climate change.
Pepino said, “Our planet is in a kind of collapse. The natural world is collapsing around us, and that’s actually happening right now.”
“And I’m so disappointed by the response by authorities to this crisis, and so freaked out by everything I’ve read that I’ve — I’ve basically last year I came to the decision that I couldn’t bring a child into that.” she continued.
According to the video interview, Pepino also decided to ask her friends on Facebook if any of them felt the same way.
She said, “And I was asking around people I know, put it up a little bit on Facebook and realize actually quite a lot of other people are making this decision.”
She continued, “We realized it was really — really important to tell the public that there are people out there are so scared about this that they feel that they can’t actually have a family.”
Alice Brown, also shared with Derbyshire that she was on a “BirthStrike.” Brown shared that she struggles daily with the impact people have on the environment noting that she feels “hopeless” and “depressed” about it.
Brown said, “We are destroying biodiversity so quickly that it threatens our food… the UN have said that can lead to the risk of our own extinction.”
Brown said this along with statements from people like David Attenborough have sparked fear in her that civilization could collapse.
“That has led to just a fear that I’ve never felt before and my decision for being on BirthStrike mostly has come from not wanting to pass that fear on to someone else,” Brown added.
According to Derbyshire, Pepino and Brown are a part of a growing movement of women who are refusing to have children.
This is a growing concern for some as recent studies have shown that birth rates are already on the decline. According to NBC News, the birth rate in the United States is 16 percent below what is needed to keep the population stable. The BBC reports that according to a Lancet report, since 1950 the global fertility rate in women has decreased by just under 50 percent. The Lancet survey found that from 1950 to 2017, women went from having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetimes to 2.4 children.
Photo courtesy: Alicia Petresc/Unsplash
Video courtesy: Jamie Lowe
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