Posted by on 11 June 2005 at 3:58 pm  Uncategorized
Jun 112005

It’s unbelievable but true: Unless already a father, Virginia imposes a thirty day waiting period upon any man who wishes to get a vasectomy:

S 54.1-2974. Sterilization operations for persons eighteen years or older capable of informed consent.

It shall be lawful for any physician licensed by the Board of Medicine to perform a vasectomy, salpingectomy, or other surgical sexual sterilization procedure on any person eighteen years of age or older, who has the capacity to give informed consent, when so requested in writing by such person. Prior to or at the time of such request, a full, reasonable, and comprehensible medical explanation as to the meaning and consequences of such an operation and as to alternative methods of contraception shall be given by the physician to the person requesting the operation. No such operation shall be performed prior to thirty days from the date of the written request therefor upon a person who has not previously become the natural or adoptive parent of a child.

(1981, c. 454, S 54-325.9; 1988, c. 765.)

The law does seem to be enforced.

The traditional rationale for forced waiting periods is that they prevent rash decisions on important matters. Surely, the choice to sterilize oneself is an important decision in life. However: Is it a choice that a man is likely to make without adequate consideration? (Um, no.) Is it a choice that a man without children is less competent to make than a man with children? (Um, no.) It is a choice fundamentally different from that for any other elective medical procedure? (Um, no.)

So perhaps the purpose of the law is to give these future sinners time to reflect upon their sacred religious duty to reproduce. Given some of Virginia’s other recently-passed laws, I wouldn’t be shocked.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha