Family

Young woman wins fight to be sterilised

30-year-old Holly Brockwell has been campaigning for four years to have the operation.

Holly Brockwell and her boyfriend, Zack.

After battling for more than four years, a 30-year-old British woman has won her fight to be sterilised.

Holly Brockwell first asked her doctor to have her Fallopian tubes blocked when she was 26. Earlier this week, the NHS agreed to perform the procedure on the technology journalist from London after they were satisfied by her assertions she never wanted to become a mother.

Holly will have the publicly-funded operation before the end of the year.

Doctors had previously refused her request due to her age, but reportedly offered to give her boyfriend Zack a vasectomy instead.

In New Zealand, sterilisation is allowed for the purposes of contraception, which isn’t the case in all countries.

Although there is no age restrictions on the procedure, Family Planning advise that some surgeons are reluctant to carry out sterilisation on young women and women who have not had children, because there is a concern that younger people may change their mind about having children later.

Appearing on an ITV morning show in the wake of the news, Holly told the hosts she was absolutely certain she did not want to have children and had not made the decision lightly.

Holly Brockwell and her boyfriend, Zack.

“At this point in my life I’ve worried enough about (getting pregnant) that I don’t really want to have that. I just don’t want that stress anymore. It’s put me through so much emotional and psychological stress, I just want to close the door on it,” she said.

“People need to take women who don’t want kids seriously. There’s nothing suspicious about it, there’s nothing weird about it and there’s loads of us out there.

“It’s a fair choice and it’s one that should be respected just as much as having kids.”

She said having the operation was more than a “lifestyle choice” and criticism over the procedure costing taxpayers was unfounded.

“It’s going to save the NHS money, it’s actually cheaper than contraception and cheaper than treating the side effects.

“It’s cheaper than actually having a child on the NHS, it’s cheaper than having IVF and all sorts of other things that the NHS offers.”

“In the long term it will save them money. The ‘lifestyle choice’ argument is a silly one to me, because having children is a lifestyle choice. Both should be equally respected, surely? Why is one more OK than the other?”

Holly has previously spoken about her struggles with birth control and the effect they have had on her health.

“Believe me, over the years I have tried every kind of pill available.

“The only ones that work for me are the really high dose ones, which are quite risky in terms of blood clots and things like that. They also make me very ill,” she said.

Since going public with her fight to be sterilised, Holly has been attacked on social media for her decision.

However in a column she wrote for the Telegraph earlier this month, she made her argument clear.

“It’s something I’ve wanted for years, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy decision to make. It’s one I’ve researched, considered, weighed-up and defended, over and over again,” she wrote.

“Not everyone who chooses to have kids can say the same – but then they’re not questioned and belittled repeatedly.

“I have been. The comments are always the same, whether from strangers, friends or medical professionals. When someone hears my decision, they tend to assume I’ve made a snap judgement and have only just thought of it, without considering the implications.

She continued: “Can you imagine a woman in their late twenties having to go to a doctor over and over again to beg permission to have a baby? That’s what I’ve had to go through to get sterilised.

“Yes, sterilisation is drastic: a big, irreversible, serious decision. But so is having a child. And I’d like to see the day when both choices are respected equally.”

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