Why Is Tubal Ligation Harder to Get Than an Abortion?

We've all heard the "rules" about getting sterilized. Over 25, have two children, blah blah blah. The military even requires a counseling session before you can get a referral to the doctor who would perform the surgery.

We recently asked if a 27-year-old woman was too young to decide she never wanted to have children. Some said yes, others said no.

I had my own experience of a doctor being incredibly rude and angry with me when I went in to get my referral to therapy so I could go get my tubal. But honestly, what right does anyone have to put any of these restrictions on the procedure?


First, the counseling sessions offered are generally a joke. If you're going to them to get your tubes tied, yes, you're "sure" that's what you want right then. If you aren't, why bother jumping through the hoops?

I'm sure the therapist's job is likely to pose all the hard questions to you, such as "What if one of your children died?" and "What if you got divorced and remarried?" I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most women who are ready to be officially done have already considered these things, though honestly, I'm probably wrong and there are women who have some random, '"Oh, I didn't think of that!" revelation in the office. Or something.

But the thing that bothers me the most is that America is a country where we ask 16-year-olds to be responsible with a potentially deadly weapon (a car), we ask 18-year-olds to shoot and kill people and risk their own lives at war and vote on the future of this country and be tried as adults in court, and yet we still question whether or a 27-year-old is capable of deciding for herself if she wants to have children, or MORE children?

Really? Is it just me, or does that make no sense at all?

My doctor got angry with me when I told her, after she kept pushing, that I was sure enough that I would abort if I got pregnant now. I also told her that I realized that if I REALLY regretted it, IVF or adoption were both options. Probably the clincher that made her slam the door though, was when she told me if it were up to her, she wouldn't do it, and I told her it was a good thing it wasn't up to her or I'd have to get a new doctor.

Let me note too this was the first time I'd even met this particular woman, so she decided within a period of 5 minutes that despite my 7+ year marriage, my two children (one of each gender), and my knowledge of all my options, that she knew better than me what I should do with my entire life. In fact, each time I mentioned one more point I'd already considered, she seemed to get more pissed off. I wanted it done immediately after my daughter's birth when the procedure is easier due to the enlarged uterus, but at 38 weeks, they still hadn't even worked with me to schedule the counseling, and you "can't" have it done after birth without counseling.

I get that they're trying to prevent women from making mistakes, but I think the way they go about it is all wrong. Honestly, just have women sign waivers stating that if they choose to attempt a reversal and it fails, they cannot hold anyone responsible. How hard is that? That's the concern anyway, isn't it?

What do you all think? Do you think women should have to jump through hoops to get a tubal?

Image via massdistraction/Flickr

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