Jess because I can
These stories are based on personal events, experiences, or any outside influence and an alias is used for anyone involved in the story.
Women are expected at some point in their lives to bear children. Maybe we do it because we’re pressured by society and our partner. Maybe we do it because we want that adorable bundle of joy. Maybe we do it because it’s simply the act of giving life.
But what if the woman decided that she didn’t want children?
On a Saturday night, I got a call from Donna, one of my good friends from high school. Days prior, she had told me ecstatically of her decision to get a tubal ligation – tying her tubes, effectively ending her baby factory permanently.
She didn’t like the idea of having to go through childbirth and wanted to live her life free to focus on herself and her soon-to-be husband. He simply respected her choice and had a similar lifestyle.
She and her fiance Matt had decided a week ago to go through with it and finally requested an appointment to be interviewed for her “mental stability” and such.
Her call was heartbreaking. Instead of calling with with joy, all I heard were tears in her voice. She said, “Every single doctor denied me except one. I went to five, Jess…”
“Why?” I asked.
I heard her take a deep, solidifying breath and then she answered, “Some of them said such degrading things, like how I was too young to make a decision like this at my age… even though I’m 27 and getting a Masters degree. ‘Come back in a few years with kids,’ they said. ‘You’ll change your mind in a few years and regret it,’ they said. And I couldn’t even say anything back because I had to remain ‘mentally stable.’”
I heard her sobbing in the background while frustration was building in me.
“They weren’t even all men… three of them were women, and they said the same thing. That I would want children eventually and I would regret it if I did it now. The last one finally said yes, but she gave me this look like I had no idea what I was doing. Even though someone finally said yes- I feel awful about it. I don’t know if it’s really worth it anymore.”
Doctors believe that they know best. But a woman’s body is her own, and it should be up to her. This wasn’t just about Donna’s situation.
Donna’s body was her own. When did society dictate that she had to have children? When did they decide they knew her better than she knew herself?
This is for every woman who struggles everyday for recognition, for respect and dignity. Women have the right to choose without the repercussions of people considered to be “smarter” or “richer.” It’s a woman’s choice to do what they want, and society should not take that away from us.
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