Meehan Crist, 5 March 2020
One evening last year, the Democratic member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was chopping vegetables in her kitchen while speaking to her millions of Instagram followers via livestream: ‘Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around,’ she said, looking up from a chopping-board littered with squash peel. ‘There’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult.’ Her hands fluttered to the hem of her sweater, then to the waistband of her trousers, which she absentmindedly adjusted. ‘And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, should …’ she took a moment to get the wording right: ‘Is it OK to still have children?’ Her comment spawned a flurry of pieces on why you should or should not procreate. But the thorny question of whether it is OK to have children – a question about what we owe one another and what we owe the unborn – remains.