Posted by: bridget | 14 December 2006

Paternalistic Nonsense Abounds

One of the pachyderm’s favourite rants is that American medicine generally forbids women to have tubal ligations, unless they have already carried a baby to term, although any woman can seek an abortion during the first trimester.  Dr. Alex Friedman takes this one step further by hestitating to give tubal ligations to young women, even though the patient in question had three children already.  Dr. Friedman reports that young women are more likely to regret having a tubal ligation than older women.  True.  He fails to note, however, that the other risk factors for regret did not apply to his patient: unhealthy marriages, not being married at all, or not having kids.  Overall, only 7% of women regret a tubal ligation.  There is hardly an epidemic of women who clamour for sterlisation and then come crawling back to their doctors in tears.

The pachyderm notes that the balance of harms is not equal.  A woman who regrets her tubal ligation can seek in vitro fertilisation, surrogate motherhood, adoption, or even adopting “snowflake babies.”  A woman who cannot get a tubal ligation will be faced with the options of abortion, adoption (psychologically difficult, especially for women who are already married and have kids), or raising the child.  Combine that with the fact that only 7% of women regret the procedure and 40% of women have abortions during their lives – why give women such a hard time about this?

Addition:  Only a barbaric country would make it easier (and more socially acceptable) for a woman to obtain an abortion than to never need an abortion at all.  We see nothing wrong with accidental pregnancy and infanticide to end the pregnancy (feminism tells us that abortion is the moral equivalent of a condom), but do not want to deprive a hypothetical child of life, even though only 7% of women regret tubal ligations and 93% of women regret their abortions.    The Left would be up in arms if we demanded the same treatment for women seeking abortions – “Have you explored your other options?  Do you know that this is permanent?  What if you want kids?  What if your husband happens to want this particular child, which happens to be his kid?”  Pachyderm snort.


  1. My mom is hard-core. She thinks that if you have a child out of wedlock and go on welfare, you should have a mandatory tubal ligation. We should pitch the idea to Rangel ‘n Kerry ‘n Co.–emphasize that it would deprive the evil rich white conservatives of all those poor kids they force into the military. That’d show em! We’d have to be sure not to let them notice, however, that this particular measure would also deprive the Dems of their base.

  2. Hee hee! Hey, they don’t notice that abortion (practised disproportionately on black women and poor women) also deprives them of their base. Ah, Darwinism. ;) Survival of the, well, people who actually want to survive.

    My dad would like your mom. He’s a fan of forced sterlization. ;) Again, this pachyderm didn’t have the proverbial good time that went into producing those kids, so she doesn’t know why she should have to pay for them.

    The main issue – in terms of, “Wow, we have a sick society,” is that it’s easier to obtain an abortion than to prevent yourself from ever needing one.

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