Illustration by Irene Rinaldi/The Guardian.
Some people do not want children.
It’s a simple statement, but causes controversy. People from across the globe face this stigma every day, with some doctors, lawmakers and enforcement who are firmly against those who are childfree.
While that may sound ludicrous, women are refused medical procedures such as tubal ligations every day, with some doctors claiming to consider their partner’s, or future partner’s, possible desire for children as a reason for refusal.
According to a study published on Oxford Academic, 98 percent of Ob/Gyns would help patients obtain tubal ligation, but 9–70 percent would attempt to dissuade her, depending on her characteristics.
A Tubal Ligation is a surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy. It is commonly called “getting your tubes tied” as well as a female sterilization, according to Hopkins Medicine. Tubal refers to the fallopian tubes which are tied off preventing pregnancy. Each month, an egg is released from an ovary and travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
There are many myths about women who wish to be child free.
There are numerous accounts of women being told that they will regret not having children later in life. Some are told that not raising children will lead to a lack of happiness and or completion in their lives ultimately, are told they are selfish or are assumed to hate children.
About four in 10 U.S. adults under 50, without children, said they didn’t expect to become parents, according to a 2018 Pew Research survey.
However, what many people do not understand is that motherhood does not equal womanhood or ultimate fulfillment, children aren’t a requirement to achieve happiness for some people.
Yet women still face pressure, not only from society but also from their own family and friends. Some have seen it on platforms like Reddit where there’s countless stories of women being badgered and hounded about when they will have children.
Though women aren’t the only ones who face stigma for not wanting children, men and married couples may not face the same adversity to their decisions.
In the case of men, there may be instances where those who choose not to have children are censored or perhaps asked when they will “settle down with a nice girl.”
As for married couples, many people seem to think it is a foregone conclusion that they will have kids, or want them, and often face scorn and derision from both family and society when they express a wish to be child free.
Yet a separate study found that those who choose to be child-free are as satisfied with life as other adults.
Those who disagree — or are even angered — with the child-free life ignore their reasoning.
Perhaps they do not wish for the responsibility of having children or have a current lifestyle — such as a demanding career — that they are passionate about that makes having children an impediment, or perhaps children are simply not a priority for them.
There are also other factors such as financial, physical or mental issues that resulted in the decision.
Everyone deserves the right to choose the type of life they want to lead, despite societies outdated and long held ideals on what people should want or value. At the end of it all, it’s their choice.
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