Sarah Conly argues that we do not have the right to have more than one child. If recent increases in global population continue, we will reduce the welfare of future generations to unacceptable levels. We do not have a right to impose on others in this way. While voluntary efforts to restrain population growth are preferable and may be enough, government regulations against having more than one child can be justified if they are necessary. Of course, government regulations have to be consistent with rights that we do hold, but Conly argues that since we do not have a right to have more than one child, government regulations are one of the methods we might use to reduce the fertility rate until we reach a sustainable population.
Chapter I: The Problem
Chapter II: The Right to Have Children-Part One
Chapter III: The Right to Have Children-Part Two
Chapter IV: Sanctions
Chapter V: The Future
Chapter VI: Unexpected Consequences
Chapter VII: Conclusion: What and When
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Sarah Conly is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bowdoin College and the author of Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism (2012).