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International Affairs

Kith or Kin? The State’s Role in Reproduction

Date: 3:15pm PDT April 10, 2017 Location: Templeton Campus Center

Templeton Campus Center

Individual liberties are limited in wartime, but what happens to autonomy in the face of population pressure? As we consider demographic influence on societal welfare, we question whether procreative rights are inviolable or conditional. Do restrictions on reproduction violate human rights, or does the danger of unchecked population mandate supervision?


Steven Mosher is president of the Virginia-based Population Research Institute. In 1979 Mosher became the first social scientist to conduct research in Mainland China. He has written extensively on the topic of state-funded population control and has appeared before Congress several times to address China, population, and human rights abuses.

Sarah Conly is the chair of the philosophy department and associate professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College. Previously, Conly was the faculty fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Her work is devoted to analyzing autonomy, paternalism, moral decision making, and the global population. She is the author of One Child: Do We Have a Right to More? and Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.