Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tubal ligation procedures denied to young women who don’t want children

Are You Kidding?

Someone from the National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) sent this to me himself :
Ever since Lauren Green was a little girl, she knew she wasn’t interested in motherhood. . . . [T]hough she’s tried, and will try again, Green has thus far been denied any permanent form of birth control, specifically tubal ligation.
. . .
“[Planned Parenthood of Boston**] said it was much too permanent and weren’t going to give it to me, plus my insurance wasn’t going to cover it,” recalls Green. What’s more, according to Green, “It was all and only about my age.” She was twenty-two at the time.

Green’s experience is not that unusual. Though no actual laws have ever been put into place, most OBGYNs refuse to provide women under thirty with permanent forms of contraception.
This story is a familiar one to many of us. The founder of No Kidding! International, Jerry Steinberg, writes fo a similar experience on his website. Fortunately, thigs appear to have changed for men. As he has mentioned in many interviews, Vincent Ciaccio prepared well, and at the age of 22-23 had three urologists agree to perform the surgery. However, from what I hear, the quest for women today is far closer to the ordeal Jerry went through decades ago.

How founded is the fear that young sterilized people will change their minds? Vincent has crossed that magical 30 threshold, and has no regrets. He would make the same decision today as he did at 23. Has he changed, was it a 'big decade'? Absolutely. However, there appears to be something about this particular decision that, if made, tends to stick. Casual feelings about not wanting to parent may indeed fade, but the deep conviction that I have known in those who have had vasectomies and tubals is quite a different matter. Perhaps a decision that is so against the grain of our society is particularly hard-won, and the choice to make it permanent rarely taken lightly. Perhaps it stems from something less ephemeral than those qualities which fluxuate in early youth - an instinct, or even something genetic, that reflects an internal, unchanging condition.

By the by, congratulations to my favourite hunk on his vasectomy last week!
For Green and the growing number of women forgoing motherhood, waiting till they’re thirty just isn’t good enough. “It’s a vast limitation of my reproductive rights,” opines Green, thoroughly unimpressed with Dr. Wiener’s approach. “Doctors will say, ‘I don’t like to prescribe elective surgeries for people who don’t need them.’ Whereas if you don’t want to have a baby, you don’t want to have a baby and it feels fairly necessary to me.”

“It’s an issue of agency, and who gets to make that choice,” adds Christine Brooks, a post doctoral fellow studying the purposefully barren at the Institute of Trans Personal Psychology in the Bay Area.

According to Brooks, “The argument that these women might change their minds is a paternalistic argument. It questions a woman’s inner knowing, her own path in life. It also suggests that women don’t know what’s best for them and that they have to defer to a medical authority to make life decisions.”
. . .
Douglas and Michaels explain that the new momism oppresses all women by reducing their worth to childbearing and rearing; that in an overwhelmingly child oriented society, a woman is not complete without a child; she must be the primary caregiver of that child, and she must devote herself utterly to her children. Lest she be called “selfish” or “immature.”
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this article!

- Isaac, from American Sexuality Magazine

Shaneisha said...

Honestly, who can tell u whether or not u can become permanantly sterile based on your age or gender. If men encounter no problems when wanting this, I don't see why women have to; it makes no sense. I believe that if a woman does not want children she has the right to see to that and nobody should try to tell her differently. It's unfair for women to be put into that role of having to "have" to become mothers; I thought America was the home of the free. I'm not for or against it, but if women are allowed to get abortions, why not allow them to get tubal litigations, honestly, for those who don't want children and have had to have an abortion, getting ur tubes tied wouldn't hurt anybody; economic wise, it might even help our society. Many people are having children and not able to support them; and I'm not promoting people to become permanantly sterile and go buck wild having sex with everyone, but honestly, how exactly would you stop that(lol)

Kiedis said...

I have to totally agree with Shaneisha. I am 31 years old, and ever since I can remember, I have not wanted children. I am married, and my husband is aware and supportive of this decision, as is my family, friends, and his family. It has gotten to the point where I am "scared" to have sex anymore, for fear of becoming pregnant, because as of yet, I have not found a doctor who will give me any form of birth control. If I hear "You need to work on your weight" one more time, I will use my weight to physically hurt them (not really, but the thought is there). I am 5 foot tall, and weight 210 pounds. I'm not THAT big. I would think that an abortion would be more harmful to me than a tubal. I am paying the doctor for performing the procedure, and if someday down the road I change my mind, which is highly unlikely, then that will be my regret, not his/hers. They have my money in their pocket, and I have to live with my decision. No, I will not change my mind, and I'm tired of people telling me that I might someday down the road. I KNOW MYSELF. If I am not allowed to make my own decisions about my life, then what is the point of promoting a "free" country?

Anonymous said...

I honestly do not understand myself why doctors will not agrre for me to have a tubal litigation. The reasons I have been given are that I am too young, I am not married and never have been married, and that I do not have children. I have also been told there have been numerous law suites filed by women and their new partners or spouses because of tubal litigation that was performed before they were married. What I want to know is there not some legal way that doctors can protect themselves from such trifling lawsuites? And what kind of irrespondsible woman would have such life altering surgery without considering how it could affect thier life? I have been and still am researching tubal litigation as well as speaking with my doctor about it even though she is against me having the procedure done. My reasons for wanting to have the procedure done is that I have Cerebal Palsy. Because of this there are severe complications that myself or any child I become pregnant with could suffer. I have been consulting a professional on the matter.