My right NOT to have children: Married woman's five-year struggle to convince doctors to let her have surgical sterilization
19:13 GMT, 18 July 2012
A 27-year-old woman who had her tubes tied because she didn't want children, has revealed how she fought for doctors to allow the operation.
Erin Iwamoto-Galusha from Washington, who is married, began asking doctors to perform tubal ligation surgery from the age of 20.
After repeated refusals from different doctors over the following five years, due to her young age, she eventually underwent the procedure in March of last year.
Cheers! Erin Iwamoto-Galusha, 27 (right), was finally allowed to have her tubes tied after five years of refusal. She is pictured with her supportive husband Tadd
Mrs Iwamoto-Galusha, who works as a program supervisor at a mental health facility, said in the August issue of U.S. Vogue, that she was adamant that she would never be a parent.
She had used the Pill as a birth control method in the past but she had experienced depression while on it.
Explaining her decision, she said: 'I never saw myself as a good parent. I wanted my life as my own without having to raise children as well'.
'I realize it's not easily reversed, so I put a lot of thought into it,' she added. 'But several doctors didn't even ask why I wanted it.'
Content: Mrs Iwamoto-Galusha (above) said she never saw herself as a 'good parent' and knew she wanted her life as her own 'without having to raise children'
She was dismissed by those who told her
she was 'too young to make a decision like that' and that they 'thought
the same thing' when they were her age.
During one doctor's visit, where she was
joined by her supportive boyfriend Tadd who later became her husband,
she was even told that she hadn't 'met the right man yet'.
Another doctor demanded that she write an essay explaining her case before they were even prepared to give her a referral.
The surgery has given her a sense of control – and relief.
TRUE COMMITMENT: HOW A TUBAL LIGATION WORKS
The surgical procedure, commonly referred to a woman's 'tube's tied', involves clamping, blocking, sealing or severing a woman's Fallopian tubes.
This stops a woman's eggs from travelling between her ovaries and uterus.
It is considered the equivalent procedure to a vasectomy, the sterilization process performed on men, however is a more popular procedure than its male counterpart within the U.S.
'In my relationship, I'm the one who felt strongly about this,' she said. 'If something ever happened with my marriage, I wanted to be sure that I'm taken care of, birth control-wise. This has always been about my decision.
'Grown men and women should have control of their own health and bodies.'
It would be impossible to argue that Mrs Iwamoto-Galusha's decision to resist motherhood was rash.
She spent 'years' looking for the right birth control after experiencing extreme cramping during her periods.
After trying the Pill, the prospect of living off 'a lifetime of condoms or the diaphragm' was not desirable.
Vanessa Cullins, M.D., who is vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation Of America, said: 'A woman and her doctor certainly need to have a dialogue about the implications of a tubal ligation, but a woman should not have to beg and plead to have one.
'That women are denied access to tubal ligations is another form of reproductive injustice.'