Vasectomy-thon for the ‘World Vasectomy Day’- old wine in new bottle of Population Control.
November 19, is celebrated as the ‘World Vasectomy Day’. This year the event is hosted by Mexico, organized with the joint effort of DKT, National center for Gender Equity and Government of Mexico with the support of IPPF, Marie Stopes, FHI360 and other population control groups. The highlight of the event is the 24 hour “vasectomy-thon” where physicians and health providers from 48 countries perform vasectomies and live telecast it to raise awareness on increased involvement of men in family planning and encourage discussions around Vasectomy. With 338 doctors involved so far in Mexico the projected number of vasectomies done by the end of the event was around 15,000.
It makes one wonder if the past has been forgotten so easily. This is not the first time vasectomies are organized on a large scale in a festive gaiety with entertainment and similar attractions. The Ernakulam Experiment of India holds the world record for the largest no. of vasectomies performed for a given population in a given length of time which is close to seventy thousand in two months. Organized in the same fashion as the present World Vasectomy Day.
The World Vasectomy Day is nothing but rebranding of the state sponsored Mass Sterilization Program. One should not be surprised that the population control movement has embraced it. In fact vasectomies have always been the part of the movement.
The event was launched for the first time on oct 18, 2013 by Joanthan Stack a New York based documentary film maker and Dr. Dough Stein who is popularly known as the Big Daddy of Vasectomy. Dr. Stein is a benevolent environmentalist fueled with a mission to reduce the carbon foot print by offering free vasectomies for people in poor countries at times with ‘cash incentives’ to make it more attractive. As noble as his idea sounds which is to reduce carbon footprint, the best solution would’ve been to reduce beef intake or to make it more sensational, vasectomy for cows. Because it is the animal industry and specifically cows which are found to be the culprit responsible for ocean depletion, deforestation, methane emission and climate change. It seems Dr. Stein is either outdated or his intentions are those similar to Margaret Sanger which is fertility control of the poor.
When Vasectomy becomes Weapon
Sterilization has always been the weapon of the proponents of Eugenics and a tool for genocide. The forced sterilization of Puerto Ricans, sterilization crimes of Third Reich, the secret camps of India, the sterilization of 700,000 men in Rwanda and forced vasectomy for Rohingyas are some of the examples where Sterilization has been used as a weapon against the weak, poor and vulnerable. The human rights violation associated with sterilization whether incentive based or not is horrendous. Blaming the poor for their economic condition and linking ‘aid’ and ‘charity’ to sterilization is the most deceptive and degrading way of handling populations and problems.
Unresolved issues of Vasectomy
Several studies have associated Vasectomy with serious side effects but the issue is always brushed aside as in the case of abortion-breast cancer link. What is unsettling is the lack of constructive action on the issues of population and the urgency to apply destructive solutions with no regard for the dignity of the human person. World Vasectomy Day is underrating men as incapable of heroic self-discipline and self-giving. It’s often forgotten that in dealing with issues of population we are dealing with ‘people’ and not cattle. May be if the recipient of the aid was cattle there would’ve been far more dignified approach.
The organizer’s next target being India it’s crucial to point out that India’s Total Fertility Replacement level has dipped well beyond repair and adding more vasectomies will lead to disastrous trend in the sustenance of our nation and cultures. It’s time to change the inclination to connect poverty with fertility and the attitude which underestimates people of their capacity to make informed choices regarding Reproductive health, especially the tendency to judge poor people as incapable of planning their family in a healthy way.
While they celebrate World Vasectomy Day let’s remember men killed in Mass Sterilization camps, those deceived by false solution and those forced to accept it to satiate hunger.
This article was originally written for IYC