No kid­ding

National Post (Latest Edition) - - LETTERS -

Re: Doc­tors plac­ing age limit on ‘ tubals,’ ster­il­iza­tion, Sept. 7

Your ar­ti­cle took me back al- most 40 years to when I was 34 and was hav­ing great dif­fi­culty find­ing a doc­tor to give me a va­sec­tomy.

The first told me that I was too young to make such an im­por­tant de­ci­sion, and to come back in 10 years.

The sec­ond re­fused to per­form a va­sec­tomy on some­one who wasn’t mar­ried, and told me to get mar­ried and to re­turn with my wife. I guess he fig­ured that only mar­ried peo­ple have sex and can get preg­nant.

The third said, “But you don’t have any chil­dren yet. Come back af­ter you’ve had some kids.” I replied, “By then it’ll be too late!”

The fourth in­ter­ro­gated me for more than fif­teen min­utes. I asked him if he would have had so many ques­tions if, in­stead of want­ing a va­sec­tomy, I had an­nounced that I planned to have 10 kids. He paused a while, and then an­swered, “No, prob­a­bly not.” I re­torted, “Who am I hurt­ing by hav­ing none?” And then I asked, “Which will have a stronger im­pact on me, my wife, so­ci­ety and the planet? And which is more per­ma­nent?”

Af­ter all, if I changed my mind ( which wasn’t very likely), I could al­ways adopt chil­dren or marry a woman with kids.

If a par­ent changes their mind, they are still legally re­spon­si­ble for their chil­dren un­til they turn 18, and morally for­ever.

Af­ter much re­flec­tion, he fi­nally said, “You’re ab­so­lutely right. How’s three weeks from next Wed­nes­day?” (I had my va­sec­tomy on Valen­tine’s Day, no less!)

I am of­ten asked whether I have any re­grets about get­ting a va­sec­tomy. My only re­gret is that I didn’t get it sooner. Jerry Stein­berg, found­ing non­fa­ther of NO KID­DING!

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