Woman Told She Can’t Get Her Tubes Tied Without Her Husband’s Permission. Really?

Picture this: You’ve done the research and you’re ready to get your tubes tied. Perhaps you’re done having kids or perhaps it’s for a medical reason. Perhaps both. Whatever the case, you head to your doctor to request the operation only to be told that you can’t do this without your husband’s permission.

Sorry, what? I can’t make the decision about MY REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS without a man’s permission? 

Are we living in a chapter of The Handmaid’s Tale? Did we travel back in time to the 17th century? What is going on here?

Permission to get tubes tied

This is exactly what happened to an American woman named Holli. She shared her story on Twitter, outlining exactly what went down. As she writes,

My OBGYN just said if I want my tubes tied electively then my husband’s signature is also required on the release form. I asked her if that was a law. She said it’s not but it’s their policy.  I’m fucking pissed.”

Okay, so let’s break it down a little bit, shall we?

Tubal ligation is basically the female version of getting the snip. It prevents women from falling pregnant by tying the fallopian tubes so sperm can’t get through to the egg.

In this case of tubal ligation, the patient’s name is Holli. Remember this name. HOLLI. This is Holli’s body. Holli’s fallopian tubes. Holli’s ability to reproduce.

But, for some unexplained reason, Holli needs her husband to sign off on this.


Yep. We are lost.

Outdated policy strikes a nerve 

Once upon a time, people thought that men had the right to make these decisions on behalf of women. That law went out the window way back in the 1960’s so it’s very strange to see this ‘policy’ making headlines.

Understandably, Twitter finds it odd too, with plenty of women also sharing their own Handmade-esque Tales of tubal woe.

One woman tells,

I had my tubes removed last week and my OBGYN did not require my husband’s consent but did ask how he felt about it. That is absolutely insane that they believe you need someone else’s consent when deciding what to do with your reproductive organs.”

Another writes, “This is ridiculous. You are not his property.”

And another,

My OB/GYN told me he doesn’t tie tubes unless you have two kids. The only person that owns this uterus is me.”

My uterus, my decision

It would appear many doctors are guilty of this paternal approach, with women claiming some doctors refuse to perform this operation if a woman is young, single or has less than two kids. 

Ariel Tazkargy, a health law attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, told Vice in 2019,

People have so many opinions about women choosing to reproduce or not, and I think physicians in the position to make that decision are hesitant because they think a woman might regret it later.

And that comes down to: We don’t trust women. We don’t trust women to make choices for themselves.”

Well, it’s about time we did. After all, there’s no “I” in tubes tied. Oh, wait, yes there is. Because “I” am the one undergoing the operation.

And yes, we know, there’s a “us” in uterus. But let’s just ignore that.

What do you think, ladies? Is obtaining permission from your husband to have your tubes tied understandable or outdated? If your husband has had the snip, did he need your permission before doing so?

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.


  1. Avatar of Lois

    Had my tubes removed this year, took ten years to get it done (so I almost don’t care or need it now, had a lifetime of depression already from the pill) but I’m glad I’ll get a few years of happiness. FYI they didn’t ask me anything about my partners opinion. I think all the mental health reports and years of GP referrals did it. I’m so so mourning my wasted life though. I could have done so much more if I hadn’t been depressed and in pain for all adulthood.

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