Sterilisation: Old Enough To Have A Baby, Too Young To Decide Not To

I've found a new woman I admire.

Strong, opinionated women who stick to their guns are individuals I stick on something of a pedestal.

In a world where social media dominates and it's easier than ever to pass judgment on someone, if there is a person who is prepared to fight tooth and nail for their cause then they receive my ultimate respect. Especially bearing in mind some of the vitriol that is often posted on the comments section of various news websites.

My 'heroine spotlight' is on a woman who is exactly the same age as me. Aside from both harbouring a keen interest in writing (although she actually is a professional writer; and very good at it she is too), this is where our parallels end.

For Holly Brockwell isn't a Mother and neither does she have any desire to be. Ever.

Whereas I, at 30, am a Mother to a 2 and a half year old boy. My absolute pride and joy.

Over the last 4 years, Holly has been embroiled in a rather public battle with numerous Healthcare professionals to obtain autonomy over her body.

At the age of 26 Holly decided she wanted to be sterilised.

Holly was so resolute with her decision, she went about the necessary steps to try and obtain this permanent solution. Only it wasn't that easy. Far from it in fact.

Despite the laws of the land deciding Holly could have had a baby over a decade previous, should she have wanted to, they decided that it didn't quite work the other way.

This didn't deter Holly, and she made it her mission to fight a good fight and take the necessary action to change the minds of the various GP's and specialists who were standing in her way.

As Holly's plight garnered more publicity the judgemental and quite frankly heinous comments began.

"How can you deny your parents the grandchildren that you owe them? How can you be so ungrateful that they had you" Holly was told.

Deny her parents the grandchildren she owes them? So, let me get this straight, Holly was born for the purpose of providing her parents with Grandchildren? I'm unsure if I've ever heard anything so goddamn ridiculous. As a Mother myself, I find it ludicrous that anyone would harbour the assumption I gave birth to my Son so that one day he could hopefully provide me with a Grandchild.

You're selfish'

'You're naïve

"You'll die alone"

"What's the point of you, then?"

Oh, of course, I forgot, the only purpose of us women is to give birth to the future generation. Sorry, have I just woken up in 1910? Is that the only contribution a woman can make to the world in 2016?

When I read the article that Holly wrote so passionately and eloquently it was anger inducing. My blood was boiling at various points throughout.

The NHS was mentioned. Holly's 'lifestyle choice' shouldn't be funded by us taxpayers her critics countered.

Well, interestingly, the taxpayers funded my rather costly Caesarean section when I gave birth to my son back in 2013 and correct me if I'm wrong but having a child is equally a lifestyle choice is it not?

I also had my contraceptive coil fitted on the NHS back in 2015 and had it checked some 6 weeks later. An appointment that was on the NHS, the healthcare professional who tended to me was paid by yep, you guessed it, the NHS.

Holly's contraception will no longer be a cost to the NHS.

Neither will any potential pregnancy be a cost to the NHS.

Holly can now rest assured that she has a permanent solution to her contraception. She no longer has to rely on the less than 100% effective condoms or the pill.

Neither does she have to undergo a procedure to have a foreign body fitted in her nether regions emitting hormones for half a decade for her only to reach 35 and still be unwavering in her decision that she doesn't want to reproduce.

I am genuinely pleased that Holly has won her battle. I admire her tenacity and her determination. I respect her decision and applaud her for ignoring the judgmental bile she has been on the receiving end over the last 4 years.

Not every woman wants to have children. Not everyone has the same dreams and goals in life.

I am so grateful for my beautiful son. I thank my lucky stars I am his Mum and I have him in my life but do I expect every other woman who walks this Earth to want to take the same path as me? Do I 'eck.

I want women to make the right decisions for them. I don't want women to encounter prejudice or condemnation for deciding what they want to do with their lives and their bodies.

I hope Holly has now set a precedent going forward. I like to think lessons will be learnt from this and that any woman who has made the decision to remain childless isn't met with patronisation or denunciation.

At the same age as Holly, and despite already being a Mother myself, I know I never want to have another child and my partner shares this opinion. I have my reasons for this, we both do. I am unyielding in this decision and I hope that if and when we research permanent options we are supported. For I am an adult in control of my own mind, thus, I should also be in control of my own body and how I want to take responsibility of my contraception. End of.