When the London-based writer Holly Brockwell decided to get her tubes tied, she was 26 and certain she never wanted children. Unfortunately, the doctors she encountered didn't trust that decision. But four years later, after a long, uphill battle, she finally has had the operation.
"I’ve been patronized, ignored, harassed, judged, and demonized, but I’ve never wavered in my determination to be sterilized," she wrote in an article for The Daily Mail. When she first told her general practitioner about her desire to have her tubes tied, he said, "You’re far too young to even be thinking about this," despite suggesting her younger boyfriend get a vasectomy. Three other doctors rejected her, she wrote in The Guardian last year. Aside from doctors, people she knew told her that she was wasting her life, being selfish, and disrespecting her relatives for not having kids.
"I understand their concerns but this unwillingness to give me autonomy over my own body is part of a national debate: how much say do patients have over what happens to their bodies?" she wrote. "Particularly when it comes to women, whose bodies and wombs have long been treated as public property."
Finally, she brought all the articles she'd written expressing her determination to remain childfree to her current doctor, who realized she was serious and referred her to a hospital. The surgery, it turned out, was pretty simple. They made an incision in her stomach and put a metal clip on each of the fallopian tubes, and she was out within an hour.
Unfortunately, the backlash she got when she first wanted to get her tubes tied continued after she publicly announced that she went through with it. She has been attacked on social media and even on TV, for her decision, she wrote on Twitter.
As the childfree moment gains momentum and visibility, more and more women are standing up for their right to not have kids and still be viewed as complete human beings — because we still live in a world where that right is questioned. Brockwell may have won this particular battle, she wrote in The Daily Mail , "but until we accept that not all women are born to become mothers themselves, we haven’t won the war."