In Times of Baby Boom or Bust, Reproductive Rights and Choices Are Still the Answer

As we do not yet have a full picture of the impact of COVID-19 on fertility, alarmist concerns about a possible baby boom or bust are premature.

What should be troubling, however, are situations in which women cannot exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and choices—whether due to the inaccessibility of health services or gender discrimination. A woman who has control over her body and access to services to support her choices not only gains greater autonomy but also benefits from advances in health, education, income and safety. She is more likely to thrive, and so are her family and her society.

The global population has been growing for hundreds of years at a rate that has dipped and recovered with booms and busts. To focus solely on inconstant waves pushed and pulled by forces that are often out of our control is to lose sight of the shore, of the human rights that are our solid ground.