Friday, 11 May 2012

STOP: National Party press release: Vasectomies and limited liability

A new policy to address government spending has been announced, and while it may court controversy in some corners, John Key is personally championing the initiative.

"It's time we stopped irresponsible and violent men from increasing the burden on the taxpayer," said the Prime Minister.  "We've been too timid to go there before, but this government is making available vasectomies to men we believe should no longer be reproducing."

Of course Mr Key has first-hand experience of his reproductive capacity being curtailed, and speaks highly of the choice.  "It's been nothing but wonderful for my sex life," he smiles.

The government plans to offer vasectomies to all men convicted of domestic or sexual violence, and these offers will take place in prison.  "We know those men make poor fathers, and their children are likely to need more support from the state than other children, so let's just cut our costs."

"But we're going beyond that too," Mr Key said winningly.  "We're targetting those deadbeat dads who leave women and children to fend for themselves.  They cost us billions, and it's time we put a stop to them having more children."

These men will be offered the opportunity to control their future reproduction for free by IRD employees as part of the Child Support changes proposed by National.  "It's a win-win.  No more unsupported children, and those guys will get to have as much fun as I do," said the ebullient Mr Key.

"National are more and more interested in limiting reproductive liability for the state.  This proposal should ensure the taxpayer pays only for important things like new roads, maps to facilitate the oil and mining industries making profits, subsidies for industries we support, and contracts for consultants for the public sector.  Alongside our plans for increased tax cuts for the productive members of our country, vasectomies may just be the pick-me-up our economy needs."

The new government policy will be trialled over the next twelve months.  Mr Key says if it's as successful as National hopes "We'll be making vasectomies available to more and more groups of men from communities which cost taxpayer dollars."



Tamara said...


Psycho Milt said...

It's a nice thought, but imagine all the liberal handwringers incandescent with rage at the targeting of these poor men with the stigma of suggesting what they're doing is wrong, the outrageous breach of their human rights that offering them free contraception represents, and the appalling suggestion that the state should suggest for them a surgical procedure rendering them in effect permanently infertile. The shrieking about eugenics and Nazis would be deafening...

Adele said...

I would go further with this 'policy' and have anyone labelled 'psycho' forcibly sterilised too. I say forcibly as it would be an exercise in futility attempting to rationalise good policy with the irrational. Besides, it makes no sense whatsoever to let crazy people breed.

Anonymous said...

No-one is forcing the women to have children. Abortion is an option. If the woman chooses not to abort, that is her choice; let her live with the consequences.


LudditeJourno said...

Ookaay, so of course this post was risky, given it's, you know, tongue-in-cheek, but comments here are really surprising me.
I'm hoping they are tongue-in-cheek too, rather than scary. Sentience, your comment wins scariest of the day, as well as most off-point. I'm only leaving it up so I can write this comment.
Please let's try commenting on what I thought was the point here - is it ok to stop reproduction by socially controlling men's fertility? And if not, why isn't the same true for women? If so, why don't we do that instead, as it involves far fewer complications than pumping (poor) women's bodies full of chemicals and hormones over and over again. Or do we really still believe that children are all made solely by women, and all solely women's responsibility.

Trouble said...

Plenty of people failed to get the joke when women tried to pass an amendment in the US requiring men to get a prostate check when they get viagra (in addition to the ultrasound thing). Not exactly shocking that there's some total point-missing going on here.

The Regent said...

Historically, masculinist societies had an atavistic fear of The Mystery femme: childbirth. It seemed wrong for men to have no control of the
Life force. So they would assert control of Reproduction. Witch Hunts. Which doctor? / posted by the duc de Waitaki.

Adele said...

Tēnā koe, Luddite Journo

I am fundamentally opposed to the thinking behind the policy of offering free contraception to women on the benefit. That thinking is exemplified by the thoughts of psycho milt. Prejudice and holier than thou attitudes dressed in reasonable and sensible clothes. Women on the benefit have choices limited by ‘lack.’ To say that they will continue to exercise choice in such circumstances is a load of crap – made to look like chocolate.

Judgemental thinking by WINZ case managers is already a reality for many beneficiaries and it is no stretch of the imagination to envision women on the benefit being coerced into making the ‘sensible’ choice insofar as ‘working’ society is concerned.

It is an insidious policy and I find a focus on gender obfuscates the divide between those with work, and those without work, those with and those without. That many women also support this policy speaks to how fucked up as a nation we have become.

Monique Watson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monique Watson said...

Reading that made my day. Highlights the insanity of the Bennett/Key contraceptive policy.

LudditeJourno said...

Tena koe Adele,
I agree with much of what you say here. I also feel that we cannot ignore gender though, as the policy is about controlling women's reproductive capacity. And only women. Because that is the place a patriarchal society goes to by default, and I think feminists try and show the default, to make us think about why. At least this feminist is trying to do that :-)

Psycho Milt said...

Please let's try commenting on what I thought was the point here - is it ok to stop reproduction by socially controlling men's fertility? And if not, why isn't the same true for women?

It would certainly be very wrong to stop reproduction via social control, whether for men or women. Fortunately no-one's suggested that so far. In the case you're referring to, I presume the reason for targeting women rather than men is the usual one of going for the cheapest option. The procedure for implanting the long-term contraceptives in women will be cheaper than vasectomies, but the big driver will the old, old one - you can tell someone's a mother pretty easily, but proving someone's a father is a much more expensive process.

Chris said...

The serious answer to why women is that... to quote the six million dollar (man or women: both were equally cheesy TV series) "We have the technology".

We have implants. We have effective IUDs and they are not as noxious as the ones we had 20 years ago.

There is no male pill on the horizon for the west. There is vasectomy, but it (like tubal ligation) has a failure rate.

Funding these things would pay for itself... even if universal. (Well, we fund tubal ligations and Depo and vasectomies and the combined OCs and some but not all IUDs already).

So, when this comes out for beneficiaries ... meh. However, when it comes to socail workers interfering in a choice a woman and her lover/husband makes about what to do... the government should piss off.

(And that is this Tories analysis. Family matters -- which contraception is one of -- should be managed inside the family, and not by the state).

Fund the things by cutting DSW head office and let a familes and their GPs decide.

Moz said...

@Chris: all contraceptives have (non-zero) failure rates. If your argument had any value it would another reason not to push either policy.

Thing is, once you have a 12 or 24 month post-vasectomy check the chances of a failure after that are very low for the chop'n'burn technique. For the clip and plug techniques the failure rates rise after a few years, but that is exactly what makes them reversible.

(sorry, facts'n'stuff. My bad. I laughed at the article but the comments are such a buzz kill).

LudditeJourno said...

Facts are cool Moz, I'm partial to them myself ;-)

Anonymous said...

The interesting thing is that in practical terms, giving all male beneficiaries free vasectomies would be much cheaper and more effective than giving long-term birth control to women.

For a start there are no side effects from a vasectomy because it isn't hormonal. It's a five minute doctor's visit and is relatively painless, and it can be reversed. The implant has significant side effects: excessive periods, depression, suicidality, weight gain, etc. IUD have side effects as well, not to mention excruciating pain during insertion and the week after. Also, with the female versions you are forced to pay the cost of patents; vasectomies only cost for the doctors' time.

Facts said...


Some facts, since we're all about facts.

Vasectomies can be reversed, but not easily, not reliably, and a reversal contributes significantly to the chances of post-vasectomy pain, which is a significant possibility. So while -most- vasectomies can be reversed, and -most- are painless, it's exaggerating to say that vasectomies as a group are pain free and reversible. Finally, vasectomy reversals can be very expensive - the idea that you "just pay for the docor's time" is not accurate.

It really concerns me the minimising of the complications of vasectmies that are taking place in this thread. Here are some links:

A Nonny Moose said...

For those arguing that women's contraceptives are easier to procure/administer, perhaps you'd like to consider the historical and social context of that. Again it all has to do with slut shaming - focussing on women as the gatekeepers of contraception gives men free reign to "spread their seed" without consequence.

If our society valued everyone's access and usage of contraception equally, then there would be medical pushes and break throughs for male pills, reversable vasectomies with less repurcussions than now, maybe even contraceptive measures we can't even imagine right now because all the emphasis has been put on the women being the reproductive keepers...and shamed/deriled for that. Typical hypocrisy.

Men not having as much emphasis, medically and socially, on contraceptive usage is a power issue. It's part of contraceptive and autonomy sabotage.

Facts said...

"For those arguing that women's contraceptives are easier to procure/administer"...

I hope that isn't referring to me.

I'm not saying that vasectomies are harder to procure/administer, I'm just saying that they are not entirely free of problems. I have no problem with people saying "the negatives of vasectomies are less than the negatives of female contraception". I do have a problem with people saying "there are no negatives to vasectomies".

It's one thing to weigh the disadvantages and find them lesser, it's another to say the disadvantages don't exist.

I have no problem with people who say "the risk of post-vasectomy pain is acceptable/lesser". It's people who say "vasectomies are painless" without qualifier who bug me.

I'm not trying to drive people to conclusions, I just hope they have the right facts when working to those conclusions.

LudditeJourno said...

Hi all, apologies for lack of commenting, have been away and hiding from the internet.
Thanks Facts, your second comment is clarifying, I read your first comment slightly differently.
To be very clear - I support all people having a range of reproductive choices. I do not support reproductive coercion - whether it comes from an abusive lover, or an abusive state. And I am astonished that we still seem to think women make babies by themselves, so perpetually leave discussion (and in this case, social control) of men's fertility off the agenda.