Better family planning ranks as the most effective way to mitigate the climate and other environmental crises, protect children, and reduce inequity. It is also one of the most effective ways to protect animals, getting to the fundamental source of problems like factory farming and the disappearance of wildlife.
From 12-1:30 Mountain Time on Thursday May 14th, 2020 there will be a virtual meeting and discussion of draft legislation that would implement Fair Start family planning in Colorado, as part of the Having Kids Connect the Dots Colorado campaign. This work builds on the theoretical discussion/planning from our 2019 George Washington University forum, https://havingkids.org/forum/, and seeks to crystallize a truly human rights-based approach to family planning in Colorado.
We believe that as tragic as COVID-19 has been, the pandemic also provides a unique opportunity to bring about changes in Colorado that could help mitigate future crises. We know that overcrowding, economic inequality, and consumption of wildlife are each drivers of epidemics, but we also know that none of these drivers can be addressed in isolation. Therefore, we need your help in connecting the dots between access to contraception, economic equity, and environmental protection as we seek to draft a comprehensive Fair Start bill for Colorado.
A Little More about Our Model:
Having Kids advocates for a Fair Start model that encourages parents to have smaller families and to delay having kids until they are ready. It also works to ensure that communities and governments provide the resources necessary to guarantee that all kids have a fair start in life.
The model begins upstream to solve many of the problems that threaten our planet and future generations. Choosing smaller families is 20 times more effective at reducing climate change than adjusting dietary or transportation habits alone. The Fair Start model also helps to reduce the negative impacts on animals that come from factory farming and the degradation of animal habitats related to overcrowding.
Advancing the Model by Promoting Economic Equity:
Having Kids commends and supports Senator Booker’s proposal to guarantee a sustainable child income through baby bonds. We believe that Colorado could continue this momentum by adopting a similar proposal. Given that the current pandemic has exacerbated inequality, as well as the numerous economic, health, and social benefits of waiting to have kids, we propose structuring the bonds in a way that incentivizes delaying pregnancy until at least age 25. Please see our model policy for the District of Columbia and the attached draft law review article as a guide.
Advancing the Model by Recognizing a Right to Nature:
One of our goals is to guarantee that every child has the right to enjoy nature. To this end, we propose amending the Colorado constitution to recognize a right to nature. This concept may sound radical, but twenty one states already recognize a constitutional right to hunt and fish. We believe that if these states can protect an individual’s right to exploit nature, Colorado can perfect the right to enjoy nature. Several countries, including Sweden and Norway, recognize a right to “outdoor access” and can help guide a pathway forward for Colorado.
If you have any questions or recommendations, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nicole King, a DU Law student who is helping to coordinate this event and to draft any proposed legislation. Nicole has a MA in Global Health affairs and previously worked for Colorado’s Title X family planning program, so she is excited to dive in. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-420-7467.