Meet “Pronatalists,” the People Who Have Figured Out Having Kids is Good for the Future

Caroline Wharton - 21 Apr 2023
Guest post by Students for Life of America’s Contributing Writer Anna Reynolds

GUEST POST: There’s an emerging group of elite altruists who recognize that having children is good for humanity. Calling themselves pronatalists, the secular, non-denominational advocates are forming groups, funding start-ups, and beginning to lobby for what they see as humanity’s most important cause: ensuring that we do not go extinct.

The mainstream media has been selling the lie that we “need” abortion due to overpopulation. People panicked last year when the global population reached eight billion. But do we actually have an “overpopulation crisis”?

What biased media sources won’t tell you is that the world’s population is expected to continue to climb and then decline precipitously everywhere except sub-Saharan Africa. People who pay attention to numbers have noticed. That is why pronatalism is winning friends in elite tech circles in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has undoubtedly been the most outspoken tech leaders to bring attention to the coming demographic winter. Musk, who has 10 children with three women, has fed a media frenzy with his tweets about the coming population decline and its effects on society.

Last year, Musk tweeted, “If the alarming collapse in birth rate continues, civilization will indeed die with a whimper in adult diapers.” While unnecessarily crass, Musk’s tweet does point to the crisis of aging populations in places like Japan. While Democrats continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to accept that Social Security will become insolvent in the near future if current trends hold, the fact is that the effects of demographic decline are already starting to be felt.

Abortion activists have used “pro-birthers” as a derogatory name for pro-life advocates, suggesting that pro-lifers only care about babies up to the point that they are born—a claim that is demonstrably false. Pronatalists, on the other hand, have adopted the identifier of “pro-birth” with pride, and are presenting their pronatalism as the next logical step in the effective altruism and longtermism philosophies.

What is missing in the pronatalism movement is a recognition of the inherent dignity of the human person at every stage of development. The desire to preserve cultures on the brink of population collapse and possible extinction is noble, but the means of addressing that crisis must respect the personhood of the babies being brought into the world.

Pronatalists have been accused of eugenics and transhumanism, attempting to engineer a superior race of human beings by effectively selecting who breeds and screening embryos for genetic vulnerabilities. Malcolm and Simone Collins, a power couple with three young children, have made themselves the public face of the movement.

Far from shying away from the accusations of transhumanism, Malcolm and Simone embrace it. When told by a reporter that they are accused of “hipster eugenics,” they find the term humorous. However, when they publicly describe the lengths they went to in order to create and freeze as many embryos as possible and how they analyzed the genetic material of each to select the most desirable potentialities, what they are describing sounds a lot like eugenics, which is no laughing matter.

Business Insider reports that for their third child, they had access to an extensive analysis of all their preborn babies in suspended animation and opted for an embryo with “an unusually good chance of avoiding heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and schizophrenia,” who is now their baby daughter, Titan Invictus.

While the lowered chance of heart disease and diabetes are a plus, Simone and Malcolm say that their primary concern was what they call “mental-performance-adjacent traits,” including stress, chronically low mood, brain fog, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, and ADHD. Interestingly, they chose not to factor in genetic likelihood of autism, a condition for which Simone has a diagnosis. Their reasoning? She “can dramatically outcompete other people,” which is, apparently, what they care about most.

Indeed, Simone notes that the people attracted to pronatalism view “the pathway to immortality as being through having children.” On a mission to save the world, Malcolm speculates that if each of their descendants has eight children for eleven generations, they will surpass the current human population with their clan.

The couple dismisses concern about their love of eugenics. Simone told Business Insider, “It’s funny that people are so afraid of being accused of Nazism,” when they’re just improving their own embryos. She added, “I’m not eliminating people. I mean, I’m eliminating from my own genetic pool, but these are all only Malcolm and me.”

The embryos frozen in the Collins’s quest to populate the Earth are not “all only Malcolm and [Simone].” They are individual and unique human persons who were created as part of a social experiment and will only be allowed to continue development and reach birth if their parents deem them genetically worthy. People who adhere to eugenics are not like Nazis because they are anti-Semitic but because they view some human lives as more worthy than others.

It is encouraging that there is a growing pronatalism movement responding to the trends of anti-family, anti-child policies in much of the world. Instead of expending untold human lives in the pursuit of some imagined legacy, however, we should start by celebrating the babies born today and supporting their mothers and families. That is a cause that everyone can support.

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