When you’re in a confined space with a lot of people and population has the potential to be a problem, there needs to be some way to maintain that population without having to worry too much about human error. There’s not only the issue of having an extra mouth to feed and extra body to put resources toward, but there’s also the loss of that worker that could be vital at that moment. Not to mention the general dangers of birth and the pains of abortion, it’s generally a good idea to have more than one way of keeping pregnancy limited to only when the mother actually wants a child.
In the Janus Complex, they use male birth control options. Rather than just a condom, males get a shot to ensure they cannot impregnate anyone unintentionally. I saw the article and I wanted to implement it in the story pretty much immediately, but it had to be cut because it didn’t actually fit into the narrative.
There is a small leftover in a section where Liah is talking to another worker, who mentions that three people are off on maternity leave at the same time. The way the system in the Janus Complex currently works is that if you want to have a child, you have to apply for it. They need to approve your leave and find someone to cover for you, then the male partner will have the shot reversed for a time. Once impregnation happens and the child is deemed viable, then the male is injected again.
And, of course, maternity leave. This differs between Upstairs and Downstairs, though both offers a full year off for both parents and options to go back part time.
I wish I could have made it fit, but I just couldn’t make it work. It sounded like a tangent and ultimately it had to be cut. It’s just one of those things that exists in the universe that never really came into play enough to be talked about in the narrative.