A woman named Olivia recently went viral on TikTok after claiming that her doctor refused to consider her for tubal ligation after she requested the procedure. The 22-year-old said she has always known that she doesn’t want to have children, but sexist double-standards prevented the doctor from fulfilling her wishes. The video has racked up over 1.7 million views and thousands of comments from women and providers on both sides of the debate.
Olivia reenacted her encounter with her gynecologist in the clip.
“Hi, Mrs. Gynecologist! My name is Olivia. I never want children. I’ve had this made up in my mind since I was old enough to think of the concept. Can I please have my tubes tied?” she said in the video.
“No,” she responded as the gynecologist. “It’s permanent.”
“Yeah, I know!” Olivia said. “That’s why I asked. I’d like that option.”
“Well, no. You might meet Mr. Right and change your mind.”
Olivia went on to assure the doctor that she will never want children regardless of whether she finds a partner. “No. It’s not my plan. It’s not in my five-year plan, it’s not in my ten-year plan, my fifty-year plan. I don’t want that,” she said.
“Yeah, but you might change your mind, and it’s permanent, so here’s a brochure for an IUD,” the gynecologist said.
Olivia held up the brochure for the IUD she received from her gynecologist in the video. She said the doctor told her it has the same efficacy rate as tubal ligation and that she would experience bleeding and cramping for the next three months.
She declined the doctor’s offer and walked out of the room.
Many women say they have experienced similar situations when looking to get their tubes tied. The idea known as “voluntary childlessness” has grown in popularity among men and women over recent years. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that around 44% of adults in the U.S. said it is “not too or not likely at all” that they will have children, marking a 7% increase from 2018.
People are deciding not to have children for all sorts of reasons, but many respondents referenced the “state of the world” when describing their reasoning. Others mentioned the financial burden that comes with being a parent.
The video resonated with women of all ages that decided not to have kids.
“People need to understand NOT wanting kids!!!!!” one person commented on TikTok.
“THIS! YES!! I NEVER WANTED AND NEVER WILL WANT KIDS!! I’ll be 40 in four years,” said someone else, to which another person replied that they will also be 40 years old and are “very happy about the decision” to not have children.
Many users also took issue with the doctor’s suggestion that she will change her mind about having children once she meets “Mr. Right”.
“Mr. Right is someone who also doesn’t want kids,” one woman wrote. “How hard is that to understand?”
“Kids are permanent too like…?” another user commented.
“I’ve always hated the ‘what if you meet a man’ argument because, yes, let’s make life decisions on the chance a man comes into the picture,” one person said, to which Olivia responded: “Whoever I end up with I’m going to ensure that they ALSO want to be child free.”
Olivia clarified in a later video that she only went to the gynecologist for a consultation, and she won’t be getting an IUD or any other form of birth control.
“I just kind of went in for a checkup and asked because, like, you know, I just don’t want kids!” she said to the camera. “On a serious note, I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get there. Whatever beau I end up with, I guess he’ll just have to get a vasectomy. Apparently, you can get one with the snap of a finger because they’re reversible.”
Others criticized her for choosing not to start a family. Olivia responded by standing up for her right to make decisions about her own body.
“I don’t go to the grocery store clerk to do my taxes, and I’m not going to ask a man what I should do with my fallopian tubes.”