A Woman’s Limitations

There is a true inequality in the lives of men and women and it doesn’t stop at unequal pay. The limitations of a woman’s choice on whether or not to have children only emphasizes the need for change in gender inequality. There are women who do not want to have children or due to genetic disorders and other health reasons, choose not to carry a child. I believe that a woman should have complete control over this choice. A decision like this affects the woman’s body and therefore, that woman should be the only person to have a say in the matter. In the U.S. we have the right to bear arms, but women don’t have the right to their own body. Men that don’t want children can get a vasectomy at any point past the age of 18 but women have extremely limited options and in most cases don’t have a choice.

The Mayo Clinic website states, “Vasectomy is a safe and effective birth control choice for men who are certain they don’t want to father a child in the future.”

A vasectomy is nearly 100 percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, has low risks of complications, quick recovery, and costs range from $400-$1,200.

Tubal ligation, a birth control option for women similar to a vasectomy, comes with high risks and high prices. A tubal ligation can cost up to $10,000. The risks of the procedure only add to it. The same procedure, even if it is more complex for women, is far more expensive than it is for men, just so that it’s out of reach.

The John Hopkins website lists risks for women from tubal ligation which include, “Bleeding from an incision or inside the abdomen, Infection, Damage to other organs inside the abdomen, Side effects from anesthesia, Ectopic pregnancy (an egg that becomes fertilized outside the uterus), Incomplete closing of a fallopian tube that results in pregnancy.”

Tubal ligation makes a woman more likely to have diabetes, pelvic inflammatory disease, lung disease, and become overweight. However, if a man gets a vasectomy, the risks are mild pain or discomfort and swelling.

Certain places in the U.S. have more “rules” for women and tubal ligation. But I didn’t have $10,000 at 18 and you must be 21 to have any insurance cover it (if you’re a woman). In other places in the U.S., you must be 25 years old, married, have two kids, and receive the consent of your partner. This makes it sound like women are children that need permission to see a PG-13 movie.

“Men being able to have a vasectomy done at 18, that just seems completely unfair,” said Alyssa Dela Cruz, a student at Skyline.

Age seems to be the defining factor and Nelson Alonzoanother student on campus, has a possible reason as to why the age limit differs.

“Everything is driven by emotion, women can be more emotional. At a young age you’re not mature enough to make that kind of a choice,” said Alonzo.

But if that were the case, then men shouldn’t be able to get one at anytime after the age of 18. Men should have to wait to make that choice at 25 too. If a man is allowed to make this life changing decision at age 18, then a woman should be able to as well.

As for the unfair pricing between tubal ligation and vasectomies, Skyline student Roanne Galzote weighed in.

“It also may depend on society,” Galzote said. “I guess people would want women to be younger to have children, but it seems unfair.” Why should a woman have to pay $10,000 while a man pays $400 for a similar procedure, regardless of age?

“That would be a little unfair, at that point. More equality would be nice, like if we priced things based on needs instead of luxuries,” said Alonzo.

I think these “rules” are degrading to women. I don’t see why men have this right of passage at 18 and women don’t until they are 25. With pricing, it would be understandable if the procedure is more pricey due to the more complex surgery for women. Even so, I think that any decision that’s to be made about you should be made by you. Women should be able to make the same choices as a man without the need of approval. Women are just as much of a human being as men are and we should be treated as such.