Allowing sterilization of women by choice.

I do not know if this subject has been brought up, but I would like to bring it up now.

As it stands now, sterilization is easily gotten for a man. For a woman, it is much harder. You either already have children, or can have a psychiatrist recommendation. I do not find this fair. Birth control doesn't always work. Condoms break, your hormone levels change so hormone based ones stop working, IUDs sometimes fail (rare).

If a woman is sure of not wanting children, then she should be allowed to be sterilized. The "you might change your mind" doesn't cut it for me. What if a man changes his mind? That doesn't prevent them from easy access to sterilization procedures. Viable eggs can be taken from ovaries from a woman with a tube tie, just like viable sperm can be taken from a man with a vasectomy. There is also many children of all ages available for adoption.

That's my stance. Please share your views.

Forums: 
Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

this should be an option. My mother has 4 children and went to get her tubes tied, they tried to talk her out of it saying she might want more children. My mother is 45 years old. If this was a viable option, the abortion debate might loose some of the vehemence behind it.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Pikachu42 wrote:
If this was a viable option, the abortion debate might loose some of the vehemence behind it.

Not really. Just like abortion is an issue for pro-lifers, so is sterilization. It is considered a mortal sin because it is contrary to God's design. It is human's way of saying that they don't put their faith in Him and His plan.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Are we referring to that bible passage that gets quoted out of context to prove that sex without procreation is a sin again?

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Just that it is a tenant of the church's teaching that sterilization by choice is considered a mortal sin.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

understanding that Jesus died for all of our sins. I said that to a Catholic in regards to suicide once. He refuses to talk to me now.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

In the roman catholic church are unforgivable. You can spend the rest of your life repenting and according to them you are still going to hell.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

but my views on religion have always been...progressive so to speak. They've gotten me in trouble, but nothing that I think or feel is horrible. Maybe it's because I'm an open minded person, well at least I try to be.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

Hobo wrote:
As it stands now, sterilization is easily gotten for a man. For a woman, it is much harder. You either already have children, or can have a psychiatrist recommendation.

Really? I got an IUD in at one point and mentioned I was thinking about sterilization, but doubted I could get anyone to do it. The doctor I was seeing (at Planned Parenthood) said that they could do it for me if I wanted it done. I'm pretty sure that men and women both have to have a screening interview with a doctor or nurse practitioner, and then a one or three month waiting period. (I've been through the process with someone, but I don't remember the time required.)

Women are more likely to get criticized for having it done, though. Men might lose a few marriage prospects, but people think women who don't want kids are nuts. I've had days where I want to get sterilized just so I can respond to the patronizing, "Oh, you'll change your mind!" with "I hope not, because it was permanent." Grr.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I mean, I had to have a screening interview just for my IUD. If you need one for an IUD, it makes sense to me that you'd need one for sterilization. The waiting period confuses me, though.

I think this came up here somewhere, and it was completely a miscommunication on my part that caused it, but what actually irritates me is the idea that you'll ONLY want husband/kids/family/etc*. Why yes, thank you, I'd very much like to get married and have my own kitchen and fuss over my family and mend clothes and act domesticy. But I also want to travel the world and succeed in my web development career and do things besides just have a family and kids, thanks very much.

*Though maybe the assumption I'll want kids doesn't bother me only cause I do in fact want them. I'm sure women who don't want kids have a different experience of this.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

I think the waiting period is government mandated, actually. It's probably just an "Are you really sure?" prevention step, which isn't so terrible. It certainly isn't a decision to make rashly.

My gripe is people who tell me I will want children when I tell them that I do not and never have wanted children -- that I dislike children and have no idea how to deal with them. I'm entirely domestic, and I love baking and cleaning and taking care of my guy, but the thought of being pregnant borders on phobia for me, and the thought of raising children holds zero appeal.

Only reason I'm not sterilized is because it's expensive, and scary. I've never had any surgery done, so even such a minor one seems daunting. Also, I miss my IUD. The hormones made me nuts, but everything else about it was great!

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

For invasive cosmetic surgery? If there isn't, how is this different?

Mith's picture

Supplicant

I don't know for how much, but I do know for sex changes there is a significant one. I doubt there is for like, botox, but I believe (don't quote me though) there are waiting periods for "significant" or "life changing" ones. To me, as a some what, uh, excitable person, that having a waiting period to keep down "spur of the moment" decisions is a good idea.

I think that sterilization is perfectly fine (if there's an Apocalypse, my babies will do better not having as much competition) but I would consider it life changing enough to require a waiting period, especially because it's permanent.

gjh42's picture

My little sister knew from the time she was a teenager that she didn't want kids. I don't recall hearing that she had any difficulty in getting that taken care of (I never heard any details). This would have been in the late 70's/early 80's, when she was 20ish. New York State, if that makes a difference.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Where did you hear that for sterilization, a woman must already have had children or get a recommendation from a psychiatrist? My guess would be that it's one of those things that vary by state and local community/provider attitudes.

I don't see any reason why it should be more difficult for a woman to get sterilized than a man. I've never heard of there being any differences in difficulty, either, but then, this isn't a topic I've looked into and I haven't known anyone while they were going through it.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I think it makes sense to make it easier for men to access.

(a)Men have no other access to non-barrier pregnancy prevention.
Women do.

(b) the procedure for men is
(i) less expensive
(ii) simpler
(iii) faster
(iv) more easily reversed
(v) less physically intrusive
and
(vi) less physically harmful (i.e., less recovery time).

I'm not saying it should be obscenely difficult for women to access, by any means, just that it is entirely rational (and not sexist) for the procedure to be easier for men to access.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

How about this then: woman shouldn't be subjected to any more *social* barriers to sterilization than men? Having to get a psychiatrist's permission as given in the example above strikes me as an imposition of a limiting social norm.

Your reasoning seems based more on the simple physical/medical facts that it's just a snip for men, versus abdominal surgery for women.

Zandu Ink's picture

Embodiment

I'm not sure where the psychiatrist's permission comes from. My wife's ob/gyn was more than willing to do a tubal for Her, she just suggested that I ask a urologist first for the reasons TB listed above.

Now, we were worried because we live in Alabama, the middle of the Bible Belt, and had heard stories of pharmacists denying birth control for religious and moral reasons. Plus, we are both under 30, have no kids, and have no intention of having kids. When we brought these concerns to the ob/gyn's attention, she didn't even hesitate to tell us that she would tie Her tubes if any of those worries proved true.

They didn't, and I'm fixed now.

But it remains that it would have been just as easy for my wife to get fixed as it was for me, barring any physical complications.

sarianna's picture

Devotee

...in your comment is "wife." One of the parts about this entire issue that irks me is that unless the woman is married, already has kids, or is over 30, she usually gets hell from the doctors about it. It's pretty backwards. And inefficient, since prime reproductive years (and expenses) are early on, and a woman who is certain she doesn't want kids will spend the money on various forms of BC for many years before she then has to pay for an expensive procedure. G-d forbid that the BC should fail, either--more money, more hassle, and even more misery as the pregnancy she has been trying to prevent to the best of her ability is either suffered or terminated.

I'm 25. I've been asking my doctors (hm, had about 4 or 5 now) since I was 18 to have my tubes tied. They say no, no, you might change your mind, etc. This is in the liberal stronghold of Massachusetts, no less. Years of patches/nuvaring/barriers and then I finally was allowed an IUD after a failure...but that'll expire in 3 years. With any luck I'll still be with my current partner, who also doesn't want kids, and there will likely be a snip. It's not that I don't like kids--heck, my partner has a son (not biologically his) from his previous marriage, and kiddo and I get along great, but my role with him is more like an auntie. I just have no desire to bear or raise kids of my own.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I'm still not entirely sure. I also based it on the lack of (legal, American) alternatives for men to have non-event-specific protection.

I still don't think that the social barriers should be large for women, but I'm not 100% convinced that they should be equal, especially for younger women, especially pre-reproductive ones.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

This is really what the original post was about. It's the woman's choice what she does with her body, why does she need to be assessed as rational by a medical professional first if she doesn't want kids? If i want to be sterilized, why should I have to depend on someone else to allow me to make the decision. Mind you I am not suggesting that the procedure should be covered by insurance, or that your point about men lacking non-barrier protection methods isn't valid, I just want to know why it matters how old a woman is and whether or not she's had kids.

I will not change my mind about not wanting to carry a child. This is not just an emotional decision, it's a health-related one also. Supposing the emotional desire to not have kids did change, I still would not carry one. My genes carry the potential to impart just about every chronic health condition there is on my offspring, and that's assuming that the history of complicated pregnancy in my family doesn't ensure that I lose the baby before it comes full term. My mother alone had three miscarriages before I was conceived and had to have an emergency c-section to deliver me. The doctor actually asked my grandparents who they wanted to save, because there was a distinct possibility that one or both of us could die. Despite being a full-term baby, I was developmentally premature, and my mother had had all sorts of complications threatening her health throughout the pregnancy.

I will never carry a child, so why should I be forced to jump through hoops if I want to sterilize myself?

Shade's picture

Supplicant

I took pre-reproductive to mean prepubescent, and from there his position makes a decent amount of sense.

However, I agree with you if he was referring to women who are within reproductive age ranges. It's again a decision a woman should be allowed to make about her own body - and if she happens to change her mind later, too damn bad. I don't think the doctors should be able to be sued because she decided later she actually wanted to produce children.

I think that's a major reason most doctors are hesitant - there are so many frivolous lawsuits already. If there might be a chance that the woman will change her mind and sue claiming the doctor didn't properly explain the consequences of the procedure, then it is risk for the doctor to take.

I've only heard of this coming up once, but it was infuriating. A woman had two children with her husband when she was 18-21. The second was a C-section, and they told the doctor she wanted her tubes tied because they only wanted two children. The doctor refused, stating that she was too young to have that done and that she would be having more children. Disgusting.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

The post this was in response to was solely about social/societal pressures, not legal/medical ones.

As to why it should be, at the margins, harder for women to secure sterilization procedures, see my earlier post.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I'm not buying it and I'm asking you for a more detailed explanation. Yes, men have no access to non-barrier method birth control. And? Why does that mean that a woman should be punished for wanting the most effective means of it for herself? It's a riskier, more expensive procedure for women than it is for men. And? Like I said, I am not arguing that it should be covered by insurance. In fact, the monetary sacrifice required should make an even better case for how much the woman's thought it through. As for the risk, why does it make a difference? This is why I asked about invasive plastic surgery. Is there a psych eval. required to get a tummy tuck? My own research indicates that, at least for breast augmentation, there is a waiting period. My point here is that I see no reason why the controls for sterilization should be any different than they are for other forms of elective surgery.

Edit: I feel the need to put a disclaimer here noting that my terseness is not because I have any emotional investment in the conversation (I don't, this is mostly devil's advocate, I'm not interested in sterilizing myself), but because I'm supposed to be getting ready for school and I'm procrastinating. I seem to get backlash from another forumite who sometimes thinks I'm overreacting to something Blum 3 I'm preempting it, whether there was going to be any or not.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I don't think that any difference where something is harder for one group than another qualifies as "punishment."

If you think otherwise, cool--we can have a discussion about affirmative action later.

I think that the distinctions in this case, by their nature, create conditions that society (based on the entirely reasonable desire of society qua society to perpetuate itself) has a small but not inconsequential interest in preserving the general fertility of women. Applying non-legal pressure seems reasonably non-intrusive. I think the way that it's sometimes expressed isn't optimal (why aren't you married, when will I have grandchildren, &c.), but society's means of encouraging this aren't per se bad in my opinion.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Can you rephrase the last two sentences? In particular, when you say "non-legal", I'm reading it as "illegal", which is not okay by me.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

They can't legally force you into it, but they can guilt trip you, which would be one of those social barriers that you mentioned earlier that TB thinks are okay as long as they aren't too bad. :rolleyes:

Marri's picture

Supplicant

"Non legal" as in "not being enforced by the law" as opposed to "actively disallowed by an existing law". So, I dunno, your doctor decides to make you go over all the possible side effects and complications and such of the procedure before receiving the procedure; that's non-legal delay. Your doctor is required by law to go over all possible side effects, that's legal delay.

V's picture

Embodiment

and I disagree. He claims society has a small interest in people's personal lives because society wants to perpetuate itself. Specifically: women are the limiting factor for reproduction. That is...a society of 10 women and 10 men has almost the same reproductive potential as a society with 10 women and 1 man, but a society with 10 men and 1 woman has ~1/10 the reproductive potential as the first two.

No. I'm sorry, there are still some fundamental human rights. Society's right to stick its nose in your business does not extend to telling you whether you can, should, or must have children. Society's means of encouraging it that are under discussion--the refusal of doctors to perform the procedure without what I feel are appropriate, objective guidelines--that's bad.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

when I was thinking about "societal pressures," I was primarily thinking of things like peer pressure and the like.

I think that a doctor going over the details of any surgical procedure should be required, including the possible side effects.

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

It especially annoys me when 'younger' women are refused for sterilisation. If you're legally adult, you should have the right to sterilise yourself. If you regret it later, well you also have the right to make mistakes.

I HATE all medicine and law and other such authorities that 'protect people from themselves'. Stay the fuck out of my life. People should have the right to do risky shit or fuck up their lives however they wish provided they do not harm others or their property. PERIOD.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

My gut instinct is to agree with your last paragraph, there. However, I'm afraid I'm going to have to require you to wear your seatbelt, because if you crash and end up a quadrapelgic in a hospital bed, I'm going to get stuck paying for the intensive care for the rest of your probably ironic long life through your Medicaid tab (if we lived in the same state, anyway) Blum 3Wink

But yes. It also reflects that sometimes hidden discrimination against adoption in favor of biological children, because if you do change your mind and want kids after sterilization, that adopted kid is never going to be as good or *really* loved by you as your biological child would have been.

(My, I'm having a sarcastic morning today!)

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

" I'm going to get stuck paying for the intensive care for the rest of your probably ironic long life through your Medicaid tab "

I consider that 'harming someone's property' by reducing their money, thus covered under that last statement you agree with. I am not pro-socialised-healthcare regardless, but even if I were, there'd be specific rules which would mean things that are your fault, the public doesn't pay for. This also applies to drunk driving, injuring people or their property while intoxicated (on anything), etc - it's never allowable as an excuse, and in fact, if you do anything like that, you get EXTRA punishment - it's worse than if you were sober.

However, I think that if you are driving completely drunk/fucked up and injure no one else or their property, you should not be legally charged/fined in any way.

Cheez-It's picture

1) I will totally let you have your "I am not pro-socialized healthcare" argument if you do two things:
1) you tell me you think veterans do not deserve any sort of support for injuries or even regular medical care after serving in war or combat operations and
2) You tell me you have plans to deny medicare when you come of age.

I am not a fan of the socialized medical care of most european countries either BUT it's really beginning to tick me off that Americans insist they do not want to pay for other people's care when they already do, and in many ways MORESO than they would if we made it an official policy. Also, it's incredibly irking for government officials (see: mostly republicans) to bemoan the terrors and horrors of socialistic medicine when THEIR medical program is a socialized program, what hypocrisy.

That said, if you hate all things welfare/medicaid/public school/etc... I will let you complain about the government taxing you to pay for programs they regulate... But if we would all just sit down and think about all the things we either benefit from or agree with that fall under that category we would probably be less critical.

Granted, I don't think having fat kids should be a punishable crime, and I'll be damned if my insurance decides to deny me care in 2 years because I ate too many mickey d's hamburgers. I'm just saying we are all so intent upon becrying government regulation when I'm sure there are some government run programs we all like at some point.

In terms of women finding it harder to have invasive birth control procedures: When I was 15 (and still then knew I wanted kids) I was all up in arms that women found it harder to get invasive sterilization than men do, and thought it ridiculous that at, age 20, some stupid doctor could tell me I was too young to know whether I would want children or not, and that women who did not should not be corrected. But at 15 I was under the mistaken impression that a large portion of women were mature enough to understand the impact of huge emotionally-tied decisions even at a young age- I, after observing many much people, have begun to see things differently.
Ex: A friend of mine who talked her first husband out of having children because she did not want any and was sure, at age 20, is now pregnant and SUPER excited because she found someone she wanted children with. Thankfully medically tying of a woman's tubes is more easily reversible (but not as easily as a vasectomy, as someone mentioned above), but is not simple. And did we all remember that sometimes vasectomies and tied tubes still result in pregnancies (rare, but let's play extremes).

The point really is too many doctors have been sued.
And as for the plastic surgery argument: plastic surgeons reserve the right to REFUSE any cosmetic procedure to a patient if he feels he has good reason- one of which is he thinks the patient is not in the right state of mind to choose that procedure and understand all of the implications. So, just as a note, gynecologists should get to do the same.

That said, I don't think women should find barriers that make it difficult, but a wait period/counseling seem perfectly logical to me. Getting your breasts augmented has far less potential to cause major emotional scars later in life if a woman decides she wanted smaller boobs, after all... And she can always take them out...

How many beliefs did you hold at 20, or 25, that now at 30,40,50 you no longer agree with? How many did you think were basic principles to you, that would never change?

People become depressed over old tattoos they don't want anymore, god forbid an inability to conceive. Is it so wrong that doctors want people to think before they take that large a step?

I didn't meant to get ranty. Honestly I really want to say also that people should just have to deal if they change their minds, but then I feel bad about it Smile
I like these forums, and all of your points. So sorry for any meanness y'all get from it, it's not intended...

Oddfish's picture

Postulant

When I was six, same as when I was 16, same as when I was 21, same as I am now at 24, I knew that if I did something, I would have to deal with the consequences. Maybe I had a really weird upbringing-- from what I see, this may be the case-- but I think it was good, because it meant I had to think before I did something. I shouldn't expect someone to come bail me out if I made a really blatantly bad/permanent decision, either. This makes me more effective than a lot of my peers, to my neverending frustration and frequent embarrassment.

So should people have to live with the consequences of their decisions? Yes, although I feel that maybe we should start before the "elective surgery" stage. Y'know, with kid stuff and teenager stuff and bad roommate decisions in college and so forth. I feel that if more people had to live with their decisions, they would become better at making them. Again, I stress that this starts small and early; I'm not out for blood and I'm not completely uncaring. I just support people learning in a safe and appropriate way.

For myself, people have been telling me I'll "change my mind" someday, or implying that I'm not mature enough to want children yet since I was very small. We're coming up on 20 years of "ew ew no don't want." Given the above, a part of my mind looks at them and says "Bitch, please." I don't like kids and I never have. And even if I got Essure and regretted it (after being brainwashed by aliens, or after massive, personality-changing head trauma), well, I would adopt or seek a surrogate, because I would know damn well I had closed off that door. That was my choice and it would be wrong for me to sue anyone involved. So I'd really appreciate being treated like an adult so I can run my own life and body.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Cheez-It wrote:
And as for the plastic surgery argument: plastic surgeons reserve the right to REFUSE any cosmetic procedure to a patient if he feels he has good reason- one of which is he thinks the patient is not in the right state of mind to choose that procedure and understand all of the implications. So, just as a note, gynecologists should get to do the same.

It wasn't really an argument, it was more of a question because I don't know. That is why I said that wait period makes sense to me if it's required for other types of invasive elective surgery. And yes, a doctor can refuse a patient if he thinks they're loopy, but you aren't required to have a psychiatric evaluation to go see that doctor. My argument is more that last bit of my earlier post. The controls shouldn't be different from other kinds of elective surgery.

I would argue that a bad boob job could be just as, or more, emotionally damaging as inability to have a child later on if someone changes their mind.

I would also like to note that I am only 23. Maybe I will want kids later (concession for the sake of argument. Agnostic that I am I will concede that no one can know absolutely, but I am pretty damn sure). My genes will not change however, and I would have no problem with the idea of adopting. I realize it'd be more difficult for me to adopt because I've voluntarily sterilized myself, but I would cross that bridge when I got to it. I am not cursing anyone else with the health problems everyone in my family has. Any child I bore would at the very least be guaranteed hypertension and hypercholesterolemia by the time they are 35, regardless of how well they've taken care of themselves, and that's just the beginning.

Quote:
I didn't meant to get ranty. Honestly I really want to say also that people should just have to deal if they change their minds, but then I feel bad about it Smile
I like these forums, and all of your points. So sorry for any meanness y'all get from it, it's not intended...

We don't mind. As long as you're polite and have an account. *hinthinthint* :bigsmile:

Edit: Just FYI, I would not be one of those people who would only adopt a perfect child. I'm not going to punish a kid who needs a home just because their biological parents fucked up. I just don't want to be irresponsible in the sense of spreading my own weak genes around.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

If they ask you why you were voluntarily sterilized and you say that you carry a bazillion dangerous genetic disorders and would rather adopt, I bet that'd be a lot less of a problem then "I thought I didn't want kids and changed my mind."

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

First things first, dear Cheez-It, I strongly encourage you to register a name/account so you can earn points for your arguments and we all can identifiy who we're chatting with. More fun all around that way Wink

Second, I'm not getting any meanness from your post. Arguments, yes, but not meanness. Don't worry, if you're mean, we'll definitely call you on it *grin*

Third, I'm reading a couple different points from your post. Let me know if I'm misunderstanding you. Here we go...

One of your points is a protest against the hypocrisy of people who are vehemently anti-gov't regulation except when it's to their advantage. I'm pretty sure in FairNymph's case, she's sufficiently libertarian that she would forgo Medicare if that would actually get the gov't out of her hair. I know I'm personally not counting on social security for my retirement. In fact, the *only* thing I'm counting on for my retirement is what I personally save. I don't think it's a company's responsibility to provide for my pension, health care (unless it's the job that hurt me - worker's comp insurance =! job-dependent HMO plan), or otherwise babysit me any more than it's the government's. That said, I'm not nearly so libertarian as FairNymph (although I'm even more vehemently anti-intoxication-as-an-excuse than her, I think). I generally live by the credo of "all things in moderation", so I accept that there are some areas where government regulation is a necessary evil. However, just because I personally, or society in general, benefits from some forms of gov't regs applied in some ways in some areas, doesn't mean I can't be just as critical as I please of any new regulatory proposals. My personal frustration with the healthcare reform debate is that probably 80% of all the proposed legislation are sensible things that most people can agree are a good idea - but instead of going ahead an enacting those reforms and leaving the rest for further discussion, the whole damn thing is getting hung up on the 20% of more extreme/expensive/politically-charged components. Gah.

Your second point seems to boil down to the last sentence you gave on it:

Quote:
Is it so wrong that doctors want people to think before they take that large a step?

No, I don't think it's wrong that people should have to wait and think about it before they get sterilized. In the OP, there was a reference to men having to wait 1-3 months before having the surgery, and I don't think that's too long to wait for an elective surgery (no idea if that's a typical waiting period for men in reality or not, but it'd be fine by me). My point is that women shouldn't have to wait *longer* than men to get an equivalent procedure. I will concede TB's point that the actual surgeries aren't exactly equivalent because it is a bit more invasive/complicated for tube-tying, but the end result is equivalent, so as long as the woman fully understands the risks, why not let her? Is it any more or less dangerous than getting your stomach stapled? Do they make you jump through non-physiological-related hoops for that too?

I'll also bring up the point I made before about adopting after sterilization, which is that even if you're sterilized, you CAN change your mind and have kids again. If surgical reversal isn't successful, then you can always adopt. Adopted kids are just as good as biological kids. End of story.

And your last point...

Quote:
Honestly I really want to say also that people should just have to deal if they change their minds, but then I feel bad about it

If that's what you really believe, then don't apologize for it! Just continue to discuss it in respectful-to-others manner and the worst anyone should be able to do is respectfully disagree Wink

PS - wow, I had more to say than I thought.

Seth Gray's picture

Devotee

My best friend is 20. She recently discovered she has something that will perpetually give her lesions on her cervix that she'll have to have frozen off like once a year. She asked the doctor why she couldn't just get a hysterectomy and not have to deal with it, and he said they wouldn't because she might want children someday. She might want children "someday."

My friend could develop cancer because of these lesions. If it was any other part of her body they would have removed it already.

He told her the risk of cancer was "low" but if it turned high then they would remove this perpetually lesion forming part of her body. I was so astounded I didn't even know what to say to her.

The original poster was correct. This is completely unfair and very deeply sexist.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

not to have a hysterectomy. Removal of that particular part of the anatomy can seriously fuck with a woman's body. If the thing you are referring to is cervical dysplasia, it is not uncommon for it to go away on its own. A hysterectomy is a little drastic for something that goes away on its own at least half the time in its early stages. I disagree with the doctor's justification for denying the surgery, but agree with him that it's not necessary at that stage.

ETA: A total hysterectomy would be unnecessary regardless. You can take the cervix without touching the rest of it.

Seth Gray's picture

Devotee

It's not dysplasia.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

It would not be good to go through menopause at 20--not because she might want kids some day. It's hard on your body. Watchful waiting is what she needs now.

Andyl's picture

Embodiment

What gets me is the idea that deciding you don't want children is considered more immature and subject to changing one's mind than actually having children. If you think you don't want children and have your tubes tied and later change your mind, there are still ways of having children - if your ovaries are intact, eggs can be extracted, or you can adopt.

But if you think you want children and change your mind after a year, or two, when the novelty wears off and the going gets tough? That's a tiny little human you're affecting, one who needs and is no longer getting all of your love and attention.

(Just in case: I am not accusing anybody here of espousing this ideology, merely that it follows logically from society's disapproval of women sterilizing themselves and its encouragement to breed, breed, breed!!)

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Usually doctors don't get sued for not sterilizing people. They get sued FOR sterilizing people. If a doctor sterilized someone--voluntarily--at age 20, that person theoretically could come back at age 25 and sue for malpractice. "How could I have known at age 20 that I never wanted to have kids, sob sob." It actually happens. That's why doctors are much more likely to offer non-permanent birth control to people--not just women--under 35.

Otherwise, I'm 100% completely with you. If there were a responsible, non-fraught-with-peril way to license parenting--which there isn't--I'd totally support it.

Valya's picture

I'm sorry, but I need to move on from this site. I've been a reader from the very beginning, but I cannot stomach reading the commentary anymore. Opposition to socialized health care makes me sick inside and angry. This isn't an abstract issue for me.

I'm dying. I have late-stage congestive heart failure. I'm 24. I've never gotten through college, had a "real" job, or left the country. All my dreams are over. Six years ago I was a National Merit scholar with everything ahead of me. My future now is to work and sleep in a repetitive cycle until I kill myself to escape or just drop dead. I am so exhausted. Contrary to all the fat-hating American ideals, I didn't get this by 'being fat'. Before I became symptomatic I was an extremely active hiker with a "normal" BMI. Even now with terrible exercise tolerance and the fun fun fun water retention, I'm only mid-"overweight". My "deathfat" childhood best friend will outlive me by 50+ years. So much for judging health by looks.

I never had a "legitimate" way to treat this. I never had options. And no, I could never have gotten insurance. I could never afford insurance through my work. It would cost half my paycheck, to cover nothing. I make a little under eight dollars an hour. I can't get another job on top of this. I am so tired. All I do is go to work and sleep. How precisely, on half my meager paycheck, should I pay my rent and eat so that I can go back and further serve my corporate masters? I suppose I will be vindicated by the system. Eventually, everyone who wished this death on me will die in turn, likely in much the same straits.

I had a future once.

I don't know why I wasted my time here.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I am uninsurable myself. My husband is tethered to a job that can give us group health care with no pre-existings, and it's the first question he asks--not salary or anything, but what are the health benefits? We're 99% sure he was fired on drummed-up charges from one job because I was critically ill that year and cost the health plan a lot of money. As it is, we came close to bankruptcy and ruined our credit paying the out-of-pocket from my illness, and we pay more for our health insurance--WITH his company's kick-in--than we do for our house, including loan, taxes, insurance and utilities. If we ever lost our insurance, it'd be the end for us financially, and possibly the literal end for me.

I'm sorry you've taken offense. You're not the only person here who supports single payer health care, and any anti-socialized medicine discussion on this website is a tiny fraction of what's going on here.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Don't confuse a very vocal minority for a majority (I can think of three people off the top of my head who are firmly opposed here). While I am skeptical we could have a socialized health care plan that works (simply because of the political composition of our government and the social composition of the people in power) in this country, I don't believe it's this horrible evil like my more conservative fellow Americans. And since I'm a moderate, I also don't believe it will magically fix everything for everyone.

The important thing here is that we are a very open community. Those three people may be your diametric opposite in the healthcare debate, and possibly in many other ways, but not a single one will make you feel like an asshole for voicing a different opinion, and at least one of them will ask for clarification so they can better understand where you're coming from.

Make an account. Tell us about yourself and what you think. If this community is really as awful as you think it is, then by all means separate yourself from it, but please don't leave the site. There's still an amazing writer here working her ass off to tell us (well, right now make improvements to) a great story.

ETA: Incidentally if anyone does make you feel like an asshole, we'll beat 'em up for you. Blum 3

Pedes's picture

Postulant

First is that your post was actually offensive for the people who are here. I am really sorry for you, I am the same age so I understand how hopeless and bitter you must feel. BUT in any circumstances the disagree with a few people here does not give you right to offend the whole community here, and this page, as "a waste of time". There are many intelligent people here and discussing some difficult topics, so you're bound do disagree with some of them; and that is OK. I think one of the values here is that people DO have opinions. Also people give some really good advice in difficult situations here and support each other in difficult times; you could try in actual joining in instead of leaving because of one differing opinion.

Second: I don't know how exactly it works in US; I live in a country with social care and it's not actually a bed of roses. The truth is that the system should be rebuild from the scratch, because now it is dreadful.
Thing is: there are public medical points/hospitals and private ones that have a contracts with the social care. Thing is, everywhere they have limits. At the place where I'm going to... I am supposed to get a check-up with a cardiologists. I don't have any sever condition, just a slight arythmia. I really messed up, as I forgot to book my visit in January; I did that in February. In February the earliest time I could come was.. 1st October. Now, if I had some kind of severe cardiac condition I would be really really in trouble. (the story goes further, as In that 8 months it appeared I would not be able to come at that time, but there was no way for me to reschedule the visit apart to one day on 18th November; the limits are over till the end of the year.)
Now, at that same place, to the same doctor but at different hours, you can go privately. You pay quite a lot but the longest you'd ever have to wait that way is about two weeks.

So those are the drawbacks of the social insurance if it is not organized well. You also still pay quite a lot (well, if you work full-time your employer pays that from your salary; if you're self-employed you pay really A LOT). The good sides are that for an emergency, or if you are chronially ill you're not broght down even more by the fees; so when you actually managed to get to the doctors you're better off.

Still my country serves as an example how to make social insurance really chaotic an uneffective :/ (while some show it CAN be effective).

MeiLin's picture

Most High

At this point I can only think this person was a troll or really is no longer reading. I mean, this is *my place*, and I can handle people on the other side of the health insurance reform debate posting here. If other people can't handle it without ad hominem attacks, that's their problem, especially if the one time they ever post after "reading from the beginning" is to complain bitterly about a handful of the many active community members with views that don't coincide with either hers *or* mine.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I just used this as an opportunity to point out that whatever health system there is it should be built well from the beginning.

And I just felt I had to defend your page too >.>

Valerian's picture

Nope, not a troll, really did wander off the entire internet until I found some sanity* and could take things less personally. I'm really me, I really exist, and I even have a website (that I never update).

I never post because, well, I'm not a talker. I forget a lot of the time that there ARE other people like me, who just don't talk. I often forget that I'm not the only not-terribly-outspoken person in the whole wide world, and assume that the loud people constitute the majority.

As for, am I really me... well, the email addresses should match. I moved cross-country in the last 2 months (another fine reason to abandon the internet).

It really never was about you, Meilin, just me reading too much Salon and being depressed about moving 2000 miles away from all my friends. Depressed, angry, and oversensitive. It happens to the best of us, and I'm about middling.

*It was stuck in the VCR. Who looks there anymore?

Zandu Ink's picture

Embodiment

I mean, seriously, why would you keep your sanity there, of all places? It is much better to keep it in a plastic baggy in the toilet tank. No one looks there anymore.

Welcome back to the fold, and I hope all goes (has gone?) well with the move.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

And cuddles. Glad you're feeling better.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

And I'm glad you're feeling better. Smile

V's picture
TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

welcome back!
Hope things are less stressful now.

Hobo's picture

Wow, I wasn't expecting this many responses.

In the area I am living, it is near impossible for a woman to get sterilized unless she has had children, or a recommendation from a psychiatrist. I wasn't sure about other locales. I, myself, want children. But I completely understand why someone would not. It shouldn't matter if it's reasoning due to medical, psychological or just don't want to raise a child. The option should be there, equally available to a woman as it is to a man.

Wanderer's picture

As a non-American, I don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of American healthcare proposals. I just think that those opposed to some form of publicly funded system are crazy. Sorry, but that is the way I see it.

Those of you who have never lived in a country with public healthcare may no get it but that is your problem and more especially the problem of those less fortunate than yourselves, not mine. I read with real astonishment that it is considered acceptable for people to bankrupt themselves because they become ill or get severely injured. I am also astounded that it is acceptable for people to be locked into their jobs because they can't risk being denied healthcare when they move to a new company. It is just inconceivable to me that you would enslave youerselves or take such risks.

No healthcare system is perfect, whether public or privately funded. A recent article I read suggested that a system can be any two of the following three attributes but cannot be all three at once:
Cheap
Quick
Effective.

In most countries with a publicly funded system, emergency care is Quick and Effective but less urgent or elective care is Cheap and Effective. It seems in the US you have chosen Quick and Effective for everyone who can afford to pay. Which is great for those that can afford to pay.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

is that we already have socialized health care in our system (medicare/medicaid), and it's inefficient, and costs for it are higher than they've ever been. I personally don't have a problem with socialized health care, but I also realize that we don't have to have a socialized, public system to make it affordable for everyone.

I am not confident that our elected officials can come up with a system that will work, but I know that there's a better chance of a reform bill of any kind passing now than there has been in the recent past.

Shade's picture

Supplicant

is that the government *knows* medicare and medicaid are inefficient and yet are trying to base this new legislation off how they operate. They're not going after the big problem, which is how much power insurance companies have.

I work in a family-owned pharmacy that recently had to sell their long-term care chunk because they couldn't break even on the drugs after Obama lowered Medicare payouts to pharmacies. IVs cost us at least $100 to make (factoring in equipment used as well as cost of base vial) and Medicare tries to pay us $10-15 . . . there's no way to even keep buying drugs, let alone pay anyone to dispense them.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

The latest and greatest form of birth control is now here.

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