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Voluntary Sterilization: When Women Ask For It, Why Won't Doctors Listen?

September 22, 2017


The NotMom is really popular in Canada, and that's a good thing, because it means that NotMoms in countries other than the United States identify with the reactions and emotions of women without children far from where they live. 


Headlines in August 2017 about a Canadian study of women under 30 seeking 
sterilization connected with many By Choice NotMoms around the world. 


Let's begin this report with the news that guidelines are very clear for Canadian professionals. Dustin Costescu, MD, a family planning specialist and assistant professor at McMaster University wrote a study with  Dr. Dylan Ehmanand in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada:


In a well-informed, mentally competent woman who understands her birth control options and the “permanency of the procedure,” sterilization should be offered regardless of age or parity, meaning whether or not she’s given birth,


That said, the same doctors also reported that “many women who desire sterilization at a young age experience barriers from physicians who decline to facilitate the request,”


After reviewing the medical records of just 29 women under 30 years of age who had, or on a wait list for, sterilization at their clinic, the doctors found that most said when they first sought sterilization, doctors either refused to perform the procedure or refused to refer the women to a willing physician..


Surprised? Dr. Costescu learn that some women had been counseled to get a psychiatric evaluation, with the thinking that they were “pathological” to opt out of motherhood, 


Yeah. Crazy.