Per the Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans favor safe and legal abortion. Despite that fact, 22 states are making abortion illegal based on the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, thereby denying millions of women their right to reproductive self-determination. According to the Washington Post, in the 21st century more than 50 countries have liberalized their laws to make abortion a medical procedure protected by law. That includes predominantly Catholic countries such as Colombia, Mexico, and Ireland. This country’s decision to scrap the right to abortion is a disturbing anomaly which denigrates women, undermines our constitutional right to privacy, and threatens our democracy. No doubt we shall suffer far-reaching and unforeseen consequences.
The most egregious of these will be increased maternal and infant mortality, which the CDC reports are several times higher in the U.S. than in any other high-income nations. Another major concern is the fact that in 2021, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports that Tennessee was ranked in the country’s bottom half for overall child well-being. That’s clearly evidenced by the fact that 1 in 5 Tennessee children live in poverty. And then there are those 8,500 children and adolescents already languishing in Tennessee’s overcrowded and understaffed foster care system. Those numbers will undoubtedly worsen.
Nevertheless, until such time as sanity, humanity, and common sense prevail over today’s extremist political agenda, we must find practical ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies. That means employing the wide-spread use of contraceptives by both men and women. It’s encouraging to note that across the U.S. doctors are seeing a spike in vasectomies as men recognize the need to protect the health and safety of loved ones and the risk this ruling poses to their financial security and that of their families.
A vasectomy is quick and non-invasive surgery which is considered to be reversible within the first few years. Proven to be nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, this relatively painless procedure is done under local anesthetic and takes 20 – 30 minutes. Most often performed on an outpatient basis in a doctor’s office or health care clinic, it involves severing the sperm-carrying tubes with small incisions either by scalpel or no scalpel means. Most patients return home the same day and have a quick recovery period with few complications.
Long a favorite form of birth control among 22% of Canadian couples; in the U.S. approximately 500,000 vasectomies are performed each year, most often on married men with children. Since nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, the loss of abortion rights makes prevention ever more critical. Vasectomy is far cheaper and safer than most contraceptives. At an average cost of $1,000, often covered by insurance, it’s a practical long-term solution for single and married men wishing to avoid the risks, expenses, and responsibilities of unwanted fatherhood.
Another encouraging note is that more and more employers across the country are offering financial assistance to female employees seeking abortions. It seems appropriate for those same benefits to be extended to male employees wishing to undergo a vasectomy. Certainly, it’s a subject worth exploring with employers.
Mandatory childbirth threatens the well-being of men, women and children alike. Vasectomy is a responsible way to reduce unwanted and unnecessary pregnancies.
Murfreesboro, TN 37128