An Open Letter to Doctors Who Keep Denying Women Permanent Birth Control

Stop treating women like the kids we don’t want to have (or have any more of).

Rachel Presser


Cartoon of a nervous Black woman sitting across a white male doctor’s desk
Licensed via Adobe Stock

At the time of writing, I’m 35 years old. I’ve known for 15 solid years that I didn’t want to have children. I thought that by now, my efforts to at least get a tubal ligation would be honored, if not a full hysterectomy. But no.

I just got ANOTHER denial because “you’re too young without kids and could change your mind”. Too young?? I am literally less than a year away from “geriatric pregnancy” if I did get knocked up by accident. Whatever eggs I have left that didn’t get squashed from years of trauma, hard drinking in my youth, and almost killing myself with stress at various points of my life should be dried up in less than a decade! Let me live those years out in peace!

Do you actually have any patients who regretted not having kids? Who literally came to you a few years later and said so?

Because I don’t believe you do.

I really, truly, do not believe it.

Nor do any of the other patients who have been systemically denied elective permanent contraception, or even surgeries they badly need to alleviate indescribable pain that don’t even factor in the contraceptive aspects, such as their uterus essentially being nothing but tumors.

No older woman I’ve ever met who skipped out on kids regrets her decision. But I’ve met plenty of mothers of various ages who’ve said they wouldn’t do it again if they had a chance at a do-over, or even flat out admit that motherhood was oversold to them and now they’re tinged with buyer’s remorse.

So this supposed woman under 40 — typically a white professional woman — who gets voluntarily sterilized then cries herself to sleep night after night, after she watches those forgettable Tina Fey movies from the 2010s where she played some overworked character suddenly overwhelmed with baby fever, then descends upon your office with a malpractice suit because she wants to return her tubal ligation like a shitty pair of headphones from Amazon?



Rachel Presser

Game dev, writer, small biz & tax consultant to indie devs. That loud socialist Frog Slut from The Bronx, now in Angel City.