NY Magazine piece slammed for arguing having children is 'essentially selfish'

Entitled, “Giving Birth in the End Times,” and accompanied by the subtitle, “Writer Emily Holleman stares down the apocalypse and into the terrifying optimism of motherhood,” Holleman wrote about having a baby in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. She shared several other struggles she experienced during her pregnancy, including having to evacuate California during the wildfires, and dealing with a series of health issues, including a battle with preeclampsia. 

The magazine’s Twitter account pulled out one of the most controversial lines of the piece.

“The decision to have children has always struck me as an essentially selfish one: You choose, out of a desire for fulfillment or self-betterment or curiosity or boredom or baby-mania or peer pressure, to bring a new human into this world. And it has never seemed more selfish than today,” Holleman wrote.

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She added couples should also take into account extreme weather conditions when deciding to have a baby. 

“From a global perspective, having a child in a developed nation is among the most environmentally unsound decisions you can make,” because just one new baby “adds another 58.6 tons of carbon to the atmosphere per year.”

“This is incredibly sad to read,” National Review’s David Harsanyi wrote, adding, “Millions of people, like this woman, who live in the most peaceful, wealthiest and safest time in history, believe the world is ending.”

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“It is like there is a PR machine against babies and motherhood these days,” Karin Lips, president of the Network for Enlightened Women, tweeted.

A few others suggested Holleman’s take did not belong in print, but in a therapist’s office.

In March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the U.S. birth rate fell to the lowest in over a century. The rate dropped for every major race and ethnicity, and in almost every age group.

“The fact that you saw declines in births even for older moms is quite striking,” Brady Hamilton, the lead author of the report, said.

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