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Articles by Robert Walker

Robert J. Walker is the president of the Population Institute.

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A Time magazine cover story on women who choose not to have children (“The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having children“) is igniting a national debate that is both highly personal and highly important to the future of the world.

My wife and I chose to be “childfree” long before the term was invented. We decided that having a child was not for us. It was not a terribly difficult decision. We like children, but we did not like them enough to take on the commitment of raising them. We knew there was a chance that we might later regret that decision, but so far at least there has been no regret.

Some may characterize our decision as selfish, and in a sense it was, but I suspect that the decision about whether to have children or not is inherently a “selfish” decision. Couples who really like children and who look forward to the joys and personal fulfillment that can come with having them are also acting out of “selfish” instincts. They are acting on their personal preferences. They are doing what they want.

Some, however, wo... Read more

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