A Modest Proposal -- In the Interest of Justice

The anti-abortion movement has been relentless in its determination to obstruct, block, prevent or make difficult any woman's attempt to obtain an abortion. By last April, over 900 measures were introduced in state houses to accomplish that task. But the movement has been strangely inactive in trying to stop men from getting vasectomies. What is more anti-life than a vasectomy? The obvious remedy for such inaction is to take the laws directed at preventing abortion and use them to prevent vasectomies. After all, isn't it a matter of justice to treat men and women equally?

So, first there should be a waiting period. A man may call his doctor to schedule an appointment for a vasectomy. He then must go to the physician's office, but he can't have the procedure right away. He needs to go home for a 24 hour period to think it over. (South Dakota would make it 72 hours.) If that means he has to make two long trips from a rural town or spend a lot of money on a hotel, so much the better. After all, this is a big decision.

Then there must be counseling. Again, following South Dakota's lead, the counseling must be given in person by the physician who will do the vasectomy. No other physician is allowed. That counseling must include all the risk factors of the procedure. However, this counseling can use scientifically inaccurate material.

Now before this can happen, we must have new regulations governing vasectomy clinics themselves. After all this is a surgical procedure so there must be at least two large operating rooms with hallways wide enough for two gurneys to pass each other. (I believe that is the new Virginia standard for abortion clinics.)

We must work to eliminate vasectomy insurance coverage in all private insurance plans including any that will be a part of the new state health exchanges.

Just like the Hyde Amendment, there must be no government funding of vasectomies. Any soldiers, sailors and marines who want a vasectomy cannot have one in a military hospital. If stationed in a foreign country, they must fly home for it at their own expense. Any poor men will just have to come up with the cash on their own.

If any physician who does vasectomies wants to open a new office in a town, zoning regulations should be used to prevent it. If the office does open there should be pickets present who can give the men "sidewalk counseling.

Before the procedure can be done, there must be an ultrasound to see if everything is in the right place. Then the doctor must explain that if this operation is done the man will become sterile. He might not have realized that. It is important to make sure that he knows that. The doctor should also offer alternatives to vasectomy, including films of happy children playing. The state legislature can write the script. (That's the North Carolina style.)

Finally, the doctor must meet privately with the man at least 24 hours in advance of the operation. This is to make sure that no one is pressuring him to get a vasectomy. Doctors will face a felony if they ignore this rule. (This is the Wisconsin model.) That is very important. We all know how impressionable men can be.

Well, there it is -- an agenda for equal treatment.

Oh, wait! I forgot the parental consent for teen vasectomy patients. Should it be one parent or two?