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A man who cares about equality would get a vasectomy

Men should partake in the most effective form of birth control as women’s rights are threatened.

Opinion by Cassandra Nava, Editor-in-Chief

A man and woman both hold homemade posters that display messages in support of abortion rights during a march organized by Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights in downtown Los Angeles on May 21. (Photo by Isaiah Zarco/The Valley Star)

Women are once again at the forefront of the bodily autonomy movement, defending their right to choose. But, biologically, it takes two to tango. We should cut to the seed of the issue, and bring vasectomies into the conversation.

According to Planned Parenthood, a vasectomy is the most effective form of birth control, with a near 100 percent effectiveness rate. The procedure depletes sperm creation, halting men’s fertility. With an almost foolproof prophylactic on the table, men should be held responsible for the decision of bringing life into the world.

In an effort to maintain equality among the sexes, men should consider a vasectomy. There is a societal expectation for women to take “the pill” or pursue birth control methods after an unwanted pregnancy (such as Plan B or abortions). But if the sperm is what blooms life in a woman, the choice should not fall on a woman’s shoulders.

Women must bear the burden of weighing out an unwanted pregnancy, or getting an abortion. But before the life altering decision of either option, women can pursue invasive birth control measures.

An intrauterine device — otherwise known as an IUD — is a contraceptive inserted into a woman’s cervix that can last an average of 12 years. While its allure of convenience may draw people in, many report to feel sharp pain and cramps after the procedure. According to WebMD, about one in 10 women will get an ovarian cyst the following year. The cyst can cause pain and swelling, and in the most extreme cases it can rupture and trigger sepsis — a life-threatening infection that can cause organ failure.

Compare this to the procedure of a vasectomy. There is no invasive surgery and little cause for concern in side effects, besides limited duration of pain or discomfort.

The physical and emotional toll of methods for women to control their bodies can be easily alleviated if men take the extra step. In the wake of women’s rights potentially being stripped out from under them, men should manage their bodies to convenience those they are intimate with.

Vasectomy skeptics can rest assured knowing that the procedure is reversible. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnancy rates after the reversal will range from about 30 percent to over 90 percent. Although this window of success varies, if a reversal is not too long after the vasectomy, there is a higher chance the pregnancy will be successful.

A woman must consider a multitude of factors when deciding between keeping a baby or pursuing an abortion. Will the birth of the child halt her career, education or goals? Will she be able to access the healthcare she needs with a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade? It is time to force men to make the choice, as their ability to impregnate women is at the root of this issue.

Women should have the same freedoms as men — including the freedom of not worrying about the aftermath of intercourse. If men were educated on the positive impact vasectomies can have for a better society, perhaps the procedure would be at the forefront of the birth control conversation.

Let’s turn the issue on its head and ask men to alter their bodies rather than place the burden on women. In a society built to favor men, this is merely a small contribution they can make to women everywhere.


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