Why Do Doctors Get to Decide When a Woman Is Old Enough to Have Her 'Tubes Tied'?
Women under 30 who have made the decision not to have children often find their requests for tubal ligation procedures denied -- simply for the reason that doctors think they are "too young."
This article is reprinted from American Sexuality Magazine.
"I'm sending you this email as I can't sleep after the non communication we had after dinner ... I respect your decision not to have children but what I do not understand is why you get so defensive, you never give why? What's helped you make this decision? I could tell my friends and family 10 reasons why I didn't want a child or a husband [when I was your age]. You just place a high wall between us and make statements that I don't understand and you don't explain. IE, it will never happen I'm making sure of that??? Are you having surgery? Is your partner? Are you ill? What does this statement mean? I make a statement, "Never say never," again you get upset. Lauren*, no one knows what life holds for them... There are some decisions you'll make in life that will live with you forever and I want you to realize this. I do understand this will come with time and maturity. I guess we'll always have a wall between us due to our strong wills and selfishness."
-- love mom (Mrs. Green*)
Ever since Lauren Green was a little girl, she knew she wasn't interested in motherhood. While other girls dreamt of dolls that peed, Green fixated on everything but: "I was going to get married as soon as I graduated college, and I would design my houses and I would design my wedding, but there were never any babies involved."
She's been dealing with the ardent disapproval of friends and family ever since. Especially from mom.
According to Green, now a twenty-five year old graduate student, not so cryptic emails like the above are standard between her and her mother, whose dreams of one day being called "nana" are radically out of sync with her daughter's choice to remain child-free.
"My mother just thinks I'll change my mind. I think a lot of people think I'll change my mind," admits Green, by now all too familiar with the weary, knowing smiles of those who think they know her better than she knows herself. People, so it seems, are somewhat inept when it comes to distinguishing womanhood from motherhood.
For now (at least) mama Green needn't worry; though she's tried, and will try again, Green has thus far been denied any permanent form of birth control, specifically tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation -- known more commonly as "getting your tubes tied," -- involves closing the fallopian tubes so that the egg cannot travel from the ovary to the uterus, where, normally, a fertilized egg would develop into a fetus.