Childfree By Choice: I Don’t Want Kids, And I’m In Good Company

Last week, I wrote about my decision to be childfree, despite the fact that many people older than myself (which is a lot, because I am currently the ripe old age of 24) consider me too young to make the decision.

The response was overwhelming. Apparently, everyone has an opinion. And many are similar, if not the same, as mine.

Some commenters were concerned that I really might change my mind, despite the fact that the literal odds, as shown in multiple studies,  are highly, highly against that happening.

Others suggested that I harvest my eggs, just in case I regret it. Which is an extremely invasive procedure, and something I really have no interest in doing. Because not only do I not want children now, I don’t want to have the opportunity to have them. I don’t want to be able to change my mind at 45, because I know that it won’t be the right decision for me.

And of course, there were those who told me to just wait it out. Which I am doing, because I have to, because my doctor won’t perform a tubal ligation, no matter how much I ask. One commenter summed it up exactly, when she stated that she ”(doesn’t) want to be on the Pill forever.”

But for the most part, there was widespread agreement: If I am firm in my convictions, my doctor shouldn’t stand in the way. Particularly if, should I get pregnant when I know that I didn’t ever want to, it would be doing more harm than good. And doctors? They’re supposed to do no harm.

This article also drew a lot of male readers—many who also wanted to remain childless, and many who, like me, had been met with a refusal to perform a vasectomy, despite their desire for one. And while I wasn’t glad to see anyone being turned away from a procedure they wanted, it was slightly, weirdly comforting to see that this issue resides on both sides. Commenter Rich had this to say:

My wife and I both knew before we met each other at age 22 in 1979 that we were not going to have children. We heard all the same things such as selfish, misguided, “who will take care of you when you are old” etc. from our Mothers and some friends. Other friends told us that we were wise in our youth. 30 years have passed, and we still feel the same way. We do not regret our decisions at all, and have had a full and happy life.

Additionally, I received a lot of feedback from others who made the decision to be childfree, and who never regretted it. They gave many reasons: careers, fear of giving birth, fear of being a bad parent, or just not wanting to pick that path. Which leads me to believe that there are more of us making that choice, despite, often, feeling shouted down by the majority, who feel that, as women, it’s what we should want. And, as men, it’s what you should do.

One commenter offered this insight:

Regarding why people and doctors don’t say “You’re too young” if you want a child age 20 or 24 or whatever,” the answer is “It’s natural,” therefore it’s unnatural to know you don’t want to do it.

Which is how I feel, a lot of the time, when I tell people–unnatural. Weird. Wrong. And of course, selfish.

There’s also the double-standard issue, which one commenter, who wanted to have kids, highlighted eloquently:

I’ve always known I wanted kids. Always. It’s never changed. Somehow that thinking is acceptable, but making the decision not to have kids is controversial. I can understand the caution regarding permanent surgery of any kind. With that being said, if I haven’t changed my mind why would I assume you would?

It’s become difficult to separate this issue–deciding to be childless–from the other matters of choice. Yes, abortion is one of them. Because I really don’t want an abortion. But I also don’t want my genetics to be passed on. To anyone. I don’t think they’d fare well. What I want is the choice to not be put in that position. The choice to be proactive and not be part of the problem.

The next time I visit my doctor, I’m going to request a referral to someone who will perform the surgery. Then, I’ll probably have to take out a small loan (hello, no health care), or possibly start a Kickstarter campaign to get it paid for: the Help Hanna Not Have Kids Fund. Either way, knowing that I’m not the only one (and being even more sure now than I was) will definitely help me keep from being told I’m too young.

Photo: Paul-André Belle-Isle / Shutterstock

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    • Katrina

      I’m in the same boat. I’ve known for many years I don’t want to have children and my husband feels the same way, in fact it was a deal breaker when we started dating. The fact that I’m 27 makes it almost impossible to find a doctor to perform the surgery even though I have health issued that could put my life and that of a child in danger should I get pregnant. This disorder also makes taking estrogen based birth control not an option. I got Implanon to tide me over until I’m “old enough” to have the procedure.

    • CD1998

      I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I don’t want children, and at 31 I haven’t changed my mind once. I am married, healthy, and I have money, so if I were to get pregnant by accident, I would keep it because who gives up a child when they have all the means to care for it? But this is my worst nightmare. To carry a child that I know in my heart of hearts I never wanted.

      • Lily

        Just because you have the “means” to take care of a child doesn’t mean that that’s enough to have a child. There are plenty of people who have the “means” to take care of a child, and don’t want children. If you get pregnant, don’t have it. It will cause too much harm, and everyone will suffer. Even the child. Remember that.

    • michelle

      I’m with you! I knew at least at 16 if not earlier. Then I was told when I was 25 and still didn’t, they would do it. Well I’m 31 now with an iud. When I had the 10 year hormone free device installed I was told, pinkyswear, at 40 if I still didn’t, THEN they would. So I suffer until then hoping every month that nothing happens.

    • Caitlin

      You can’t use Kickstarter – it is to raise money for creative projects, not for general fundraising purposes. They do actually police this.

    • Missy

      I have a work acquaintance who decided long ago to remain childless. She also, in the not-so-distant past has had a pretty serious drug problem and continuously failed to take the pill on schedule. She confided in me that she has had upwards of 5 or 6 abortions, but her doctor still refuses to perform a procedure that would make her pemanantly child-free. She is at least 30 years old. In fact, apparantly they told her that the policy in our county (state?) is that a woman must be over a certain age OR be married (!!) before she can get her tubes tied. Apparently they believe that unless a woman is married she doesnt really understand her own body and her own choices for the future. Ugh.

    • Cohen

      I have been there, sister. My husband & I knew going into our relationship at a young age that we were not going to have children. I tried & tried & tried for years to get a tubal legation. I visited many doctors & felt so insulted that I would need to explain/defend my right NOT TO PROCREATE. Really? Is that what it’s come to? So finally right after my 30th birthday I discovered a doctor who would do it. I’d been married nearly ten years, so I laid it all out & he conceded. I ALWAYS had doctors ask, “What if your husband dies & you remarry?” Hello! I am an adult. I can make a decision without a man’s permission. Besides, why on earth would I marry a man who wanted me to have his kids? I WOULDN’T.

    • Rogers Cadenhead

      I appreciate your conviction. People who don’t want to have kids deserve more respect. Society is tilted heavily towards us breeders.

      A couple of questions:

      1. How does 24-year-old you know with such certainty what 45-year-old you will want? I’m 44, and I could have some rip-roaring arguments with 24-year-old me about our differences.

      2. A lot of men have a strong biological imperative. How do you know you won’t settle down with one of them?

      • Katrina

        I would never settle down with a man who wouldn’t want the same when it comes to children. Whether it’s the issue of wanting to have children at all or even how many, that should be a make or break issue before committing to a relationship.

      • Rogers Cadenhead

        True, but some people change their minds as they get older about things like kids and religion.

      • Jess

        You don’t change your mind unless you choose to change your mind. I reaffirm every day that I don’t want kids. Neither my husband nor I can have children by choice at this point, because we both are absolutely sure we don’t want kids. (I have been sure since I was seven. How many years do I need to be sure before people believe me? I’m at over 20 years of knowing at this point in my life and almost at 25 years.) This line of questioning can be applied to anything: How do you know you’ll want that super-expensive house when you’re 45? You don’t, but you signed on for a 30 year mortgage, right? The difference is you can probably sell that house if you get tired of it, but you can NEVER get rid of kids. How do you know you’ll still even like your kids when they are 20 and you are 45 (assuming you have them when you’re 25)? It’s not guaranteed they’ll grow into a person you’ll enjoy being around, no matter how well you raise them.

        As far as #2, I hate this question. I am sure I wouldn’t have settled down with a man who wanted to have children, because my knowledge that I didn’t want children was absolutely dead set. I wasn’t changing my mind. If I loved my husband with my whole heart and he wanted children, I would have let him go before we married, so he could have what he wanted. This is exactly on par with other major beliefs we hold in life. There are a set of beliefs that I hold so dear that I refuse to compromise on them in a life partner, because I wouldn’t be able to be with someone who disagreed with those parts of my belief system. I think that’s true of anyone. If my husband wants children, he does not want to be with me (and vice versa).

    • CK

      This is your decision, who cares what you do with your uterus? It’s not up to anyone else to decide. Period.

      And my own person opinion is that those that know they shouldn’t be parents are the most UNselfish beings in the world. Don’t bring a child into this world if you know you can’t raise them properly, for whatever reason.

    • jamie

      I find this completely sexist younger women can’t get their tubes tied but doctors will give vasectomies to men in their 20s. What’s the difference?

      My nephew had a vasectomy at 20. The excuse he gave the doctor was that Tay Sachs runs in his family and he is a carrier. The real reason was that he knew he didn’t want kids. He was glad he had the ‘snip’ when his girlfriend told him she’d gone off the pill without telling him. She knew he didn’t want kids, but thought once she was pregnant, he’d think differently. THEN he told her about the vasectomy. She left him. She wasn’t okay with not having kids. She was okay with tricking him into a child he didn’t want.

      • Rogers Cadenhead

        Young men getting vasectomies face the same kind of questioning as Olsen. I got a vasectomy at 41 and even then I had to explain to the doctor whether I had kids yet, what my partner thought about me getting the procedure, and whether I might change my mind.

        Your nephew’s doctor might have declined to give him the vasectomy if he told the truth.

    • Ti

      You can’t use Kickstarter, but you can use IndiGoGo, which is a very similar service which allows fundraising for causes… and glancing at their current lineup for health causes, some of it is definitely not just going to worthy charities, but individuals with a cause. I’m sure this would count.

      There’s a little bit of discrimination against gender still left in this world when men can not want kids and women, heaven forbid, are going against their natural biological wellbeing and need to make sure their man is okay with it…

      Allow me to roll my eyes. If I want to chose to go childless, I ought to be allowed that small luxury. I’m the oldest of five. I know what’s involved in raising kids and I know I definitely don’t want that now. But I also know that when I was 10 I wanted to have ten kids. I’m willing to give my biological clock a little bit more of a chance. But if someone doesn’t want to have kids? I say good–we’re overpopulated as it is, we need a few more people to stop letting that biological clock tick out of control. It’s not like the earth is in danger of underpopulation.

      If you’re having trouble, find another doctor.

    • John David Williams

      My name is John and I am 24 y/o and am also childfree by choice! I have never wanted children but still planned to have them because my family excpected me too. However, at age 22, I realized I just could not do it. I am the type that wants to get married and devote my time to my future wife and am just not oriented toward children. Not that I hate them! I tolerate my little cousins lol. At 22, I went for a vasectomy in my hometown of San Antonio, Tx and was told I was too young. San Antonio is very conservative. I would not stand for this and I went to Austin, where anythink goes and got a vasectomy! I am almost 25 now and have never looked back on my decision! Good to know there are more women who are like minded! Thanks, John

    • Kat

      The part that I find most annoying about this is when people say adults that choose not to conceive are “selfish”. The very nature of becoming pregnant and having a child is selfish. People don’t have children because they want to make the world a better place, or help a child succeed; if your want to become a parent was truly to aid a child, you would adopt or foster a child that needs a home.

      People have children for selfish reasons. Not to say that it’s wrong, or to diminish the selflessness that goes into raising a child, but the very act of creating a new life is a selfish decision…. maybe it will make you feel complete, or you feel a biological urge to procreate, or because you want to feel loved… even most unplanned babies come from sex – which is selfish by nature.. it makes us feel good!

      • Amanda

        “The very nature of becoming pregnant and having a child is selfish”
        Thank you.
        I hate reading that it’s selfish to not have kids… how? You are likely still contributing to society in some way, through work or through volunteering.

        I sometimes think… isn’t it more selfish to have kids? That you felt your genes were worth reproducing? Or that you were curious to see what you and your mate’s combined genes would produce? To see if you could be a good parent? On another article about being childless, I read a comment where someone said they had kids so they would have someone to take care of them when they were older. That’s not selfish?

        This is nothing against people who have kids. I have many friends who are starting to have kids. My husband and I are still trying to decide whether or not kids are for us. There are a lot of unknowns in our life right now and some possible inherited genetic conditions we may want to test for if we do decide we want kids. I enjoy reading arguments on both sides of the issue while I try to figure out what I want.

    • Amber

      I’m so glad I moved to the UK. I’m 26 and have known since I was a child that I didn’t want biological kids. I’m in the process of applying to get my tubes tied while I am living here. Apparently the NHS pays for it. I got the approval from my doctor, a woman who has 4 kids herself. She is incredibly supportive of my decision and gave a referral to a clinic fot tubal litigation. I have to go through some interviews to be vetted before the procedure, but my doctor doesn’t see any reason to why I wouldn’t be approved.

      I wish women had more supportive doctors, some of the commenters experiences are truely depressing.

    • Sunder

      What is it about reproduction that makes otherwise civilized people decide that somebody else’s choices are any of their business? I, too, knew at age 12 that I did not want children; I am now 41. Unlike many other decisions (career, where to live, who to live with) the children/no children choice seems remarkably durable over time.

      But I really wanted to tell you about a case I encountered when I was a social worker. (I am changing minor details, for obvious reasons.) Lovely young couple, but struggling financially. My job was to connect them with programs that could help them. They were so appreciative they confided their greatest fear to me. The wife suffered from a non-genetic condition that did not impair her quality of life much but would likely make pregnancy a fatal condition for her. Unfortunately, she also could not use either the pill or birth-control implants like Norplant. Though she had government health insurance, no physician would sterilize her. The couple used condoms but knew even properly-deployed condoms can fail. Could I help them?

      Thank God for Planned Parenthood. I don’t know exactly what they did, but the young lady was a much happier person next time I saw her.

    • adjovises

      The thing is, you are asking doctors to perform a non-necessary proceedure. You don’t need a tubal ligation to avoid pregnancy, so it is not like you are being forced into anything. Unless you are in a monagamous relationship, your partner should be wearing a condom anyway, or you could use a different form of birth control than pills.

      • you make your choice, I’ll make mine


        Caesarean section procedures are usually non-necessary, but we let pregnant women make that choice for themselves and/or their near-to-full-term baby all the time.

        LOTS of procedures are non-necessary. Much of the entire field of dermatology (zits, non-cancer moles, etc.) is non-necessary. Cosmetic procedures are almost all unnecessary.

        It’s all about a quality of life. Being on the pill or subject to a less-effective form of birth control is not your choice to make for anyone else.

        When we wanted it done, we wanted it done. Why would anyone want us, a childfree couple, to accidentally end up pregnant. If that did happen, no choice we could possibly make would be the “right” one according to anyone nosy enough to get in our business about it.

    • Liz

      I’m in a similar situation (23, married, childfree) however I also have some serious women’s problems that cause so much pain and other symptoms that I’m unable to do anything for two weeks each month. After suffering with it for over ten years and no treatment options left I’ve requested a hysterectomy as it’s now my only option left. I’ve been refused in case in ten years time I want children.

      I can’t work because of this (what job is going to let me work only two weeks each month, if that) and have no hope of holding down a job unless something is done to remove the problem. I’ve been pawned off with multiple painkillers that don’t work and aren’t even suitable for me because of other conditions simply for the fact that when I’m still jobless, in horrific pain and absolutely despise my reproductive system in ten years I might change my mind.

      I find it utterly disgusting that despite being old enough to marry, buy a house and die for our country, we are apparently still too young to know what we want when it comes to popping one out even if that means putting the women’s health and quality of life at risk. Fair enough doctors have their own beliefs but if they’re not willing to do a procedure they should refer you to someone who’s willing to help!

      • adjovises

        That’s a terrible story! I tend to agree with doctors that sterilization as a form of birth control is not the best (and from their standpoint, a possible lawsuit down the road if someone changes their mind and claims they weren’t adequately cautioned), but for a medical issue that is so life-affecting, they should allow you to explore that option. I had a hysterectomy for medical reasons at 39, but I had three kids already. Even so, I still had some regret, although it was also a tremendous relief to be healthy again. I assume you have tried hormone therapy, if that might help your problem? There are some problems that are actually helped by preganancy and the hormones it produces, but if you don’t want kids then that is not an appealing option! I hope you are able to get your problems resolved soon, so you can reclaim your life.

    • rita

      why do other people want ‘us’ to have children so bad?! many people choose to remain childless now-a-days and it definitely makes the world a better place. the first time I thought I didn’t want to have kids was during 5th grade. My thoughts haven’t changed much, except now that I’m engaged I think about how cute my fiancee and my children would be, but I also have no desire to raise a little kid with both of us put together as one. He honestly doesn’t want children cuz he wants his mom to raise them (AS IF) so I am very certain we will remain childless, like Big & Carrie.

    • Little baby bum

      I always stick up for the couples who don’t want to have kids – it’s such a personal choice – why should anybody feel it’s their right to stick their oars in? drives me crazy. However I would add the following:

      Now, as a 40 year old, I look back at some of my decisions, beliefs, thoughts, behaviour, etc from 10 & 20 years ago and it feels like I’m looking at a different person on many aspects. Secondly, I had absolutely no desire to have a baby until I met a man when I was 35 (he’s now my husband). Before this time, not only did I not have any desires for a baby I had zero interest in babies/children full stop. I was career minded and really loved my life and lifestyle.

      I guess the old adage of “never say never” applies here. chances are you will never have that baby – whatever you decide I wish you well and much happiness :)

    • Anna D.

      Thank you for writing my exact thoughts. If you ever find that doctor who will name an amount of money and agree to take that money in exchange for a tubal ligation, please let the rest of us know. I’m 25 and have been diabetic for 23 years. I barely manage my own diabetes well enough, and I would not have the motivation to take care of a child who, genetics indicate, would also have this condition. Also, I hate babies. It’s a good thing for us as a species that there are women who think human larvae are cute, but I find no redeeming qualities to them. I can guarantee I would spend at least the first three years of my uterine tumor’s life getting drunk and crashing at a motel some distance from home. And yet, somehow the idea that I might succumb to peer pressure and want a child of my own outweighs logic and a pretty solid understanding of myself as a person. Unbelievable.

    • Jenn

      I am sorry if this has already been suggested or addressed–I didn’t read your initial article, this one got pinged by my Google News “childfree” watchdog…

      Have you attempted or considered getting an IUD? They’re extremely effective and reversible. It takes a little bit of convincing to get a doctor to insert one in a young, childfree person, but not as much as sterilization, I’m assuming. I was able to get one from Planned Parenthood at 22 without too much hassle.

      It’s also much cheaper than sterilization, from what I understand.

      I don’t offer this advice in a “you might change your mind” light. I was/am in your boat–I’m 27 now, but I’ve known from my teens that kids were and are NOT for me. However, it has helped me to go the IUD route, in the short term. It’s just a smoother path toward the same result. I have loved my Mirena and it has served me very, very well. I am gearing up to have it replaced this month.

      My boyfriend and I have an agreement–I will get a second IUD, and if, at the end of the next five years (when it’s due to be removed), at 32 years old, I still don’t want kids, we will seek sterilization.

      He has persuaded me to get a second IUD rather than sterilize now because he is skeptical that I won’t change my mind… which I could view with annoyance, but I see where it’s coming from. He just wants to prevent any potential future heartbreak for me, and I know that comes from a place of love. So I’ve consented. What are five more years, anyway, when I already love and trust this device?

      Not to mention, I foresee getting less resistance from doctors in my thirties as opposed to my twenties. Again, smoother path to the same result.

      I know it’s frustrating that the world won’t accept your outlook. But you don’t have to prove anything to anybody. You know yourself and you know what you want–no one can take that from you. Sometimes, it helps to just bide your time, and in the end, you can tell the world “I told you so.”

      Good luck, love!

    • David

      Your body, your life, your choice. I would not say I’m childfree, but I don’t get why people should feel upset at how you live your life. As for the quack, if you regret getting tied-up, surely that’ your (hypothetical) problem?

    • SS

      Please do not give up on finding a doctor who will do the tubal (or vasectomy for that matter). I was able to have my tubes tied in my very early 20′s. There are great physicians out there who will respect and support your rights, as mine did. I’ll never forget when, right before the surgery, the nurse casually asked how many kids I had. My doctor quickly replied, “None and that is FINE!”
      Don’t automatically be discouraged if they ask you “why” or “what if you change your mind”, those are the same questions that any person who goes in for elective surgery will get. I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with docs refusing to do the tubals etc. but you may be able to win over fence sitter docs or find that one who you thought would say no is just asking the questions they have to ask.

    • Amaryllis

      Thirty-four years ago I was you. I knew from the time I was born that I didn’t want to have children, and now at 58 I’ve never regretted that decision. In 1977 when I was 24, there wasn’t a chance in hell that a doctor would have given me a tubal ligation — and I went through hell because of it. Pills made me sick, and so I got a series of IUDs the last of which gave me pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) at 32 leading to a hysterectomy at 41. The only benefit was that after the PID I was sterile and no longer had to spend my life worrying about birth control. However, you shouldn’t have to spend 5 days in the hospital with a life-threatening condition to get “sterilized”!

    • seouluna

      I am 24 years old and in my culture, I am already old enough to have at least 3 kids, mostly all my cousins have kids. It always makes me feel odd when my mother asks me about me getting married and having kids. I don’t mind adopting them but having them myself is a big no but over all I just don’t feel I actually need to have kids to feel as if I “accomplished” something. I don’t need to pass down my genes or something like that, to my family that is like a slap in the face. They think that I am just crazy and that no one would marry me, and to be honest I don’t need to be married either to be happy. I can just be happy by myself and writing because mentally I won’t be alone writing is creating new life into something even if it’s not of flesh to me it means just about or even more than any child I can give birth to in the flesh. So yeah childfree is just the way for me.

    • Esther


      Your stout adherence to your conviction and your rights is commendable, and your passion for asserting yourself is something to be lauded. Few people can articulate such a pointed opinion as well as you have here, and in your initial article.

      But I strongly suspect that you will not find a doctor who will perform this surgery on you until you’re older. The reason has nothing to do with you, your rights, or your age. The doctors are covering their asses.

      Why? Because in five, ten, or fifteen years, you could easily come back around regretting your decision, and sue them. And if you were to do that, you probably would win. You are one change of heart, one religious conversion, one midlife crisis away from regretting the decision down the road. Even if you are soundly convinced that none of those things will never happen, your doctor is not. And he or she can’t afford to be.

      Think about how easy it would be for the forty-year-old version of yourself to win this case in sixteen years (especially considering how articulate you already are, at the tender age of 24). All you would have to do is tell the judge that your surgeon took advantage of a passionate, idealistic young woman who wished to make a statement about her reproductive rights. That he or she mutilated a healthy young woman in the prime of her life. That performing a drastic procedure with permanent results was shortsighted and irresponsible. You might even be able to make an argument that the surgeon took away your reproductive rights by taking away the option to change your mind later on.

      Whether or not you would ever take this position is completely immaterial. If you ever change your mind, the doctor is wide open to a lawsuit that (s)he would almost certainly lose. A capable attorney would screw your surgeon to the wall. The surgeons know this. They will protect themselves from ever having to defend performing this operation on you.

      You appear to be resolutely convinced that you will never change your mind, and the reasons why are nobody else’s business. Perhaps you are a genetic carrier of a disease that you refuse to pass on to a child. Perhaps you and your partner have planned a life that can never accommodate raising children. Perhaps you simply don’t want to deal with stretch marks or lactating. The reasons don’t matter, and it doesn’t sound like the doctor objects to the decision or your reasons, anyway.

      But it sounds to me as though the doctor isn’t arguing with your decision to be childfree. He or she objects to taking such drastic, permanent measures to make that a reality because they are vulnerable to repercussions for it. After all, almost every form of available birth control is easily reversible, which from a medical perspective is part of the appeal—you have the option to change your mind. Operative words being “have the option,” meaning that the doctor cannot be blamed or punished for limiting your future options.

    • Wanda

      You should research the Essure and Adiana permanent birth control procedures. They don’t involve surgery and both can be performed in the doctor’s office. I’ve already decided not to procreate and plan on getting the Adiana procedure performed.

    • Jenn

      Just to reiterate that point that you are in good company if not deciding to have kids, there are some really great blogs out there of people cataloging there experiences of being childfree. is my favorite but there are quite a few others. Some great places to let off steam and laugh about dealing with people who don’t understand your decision.

    • Sarah

      It seems to me that everyone’s concern over what Ms. Olsen does with her own uterus stems from the same environment that wants to deny women access to birth control and safe abortion. What *is* it that makes the world think they have ANY right at all to tell women what they can or should do with their own reproductive systems?!
      How is shaming a woman, whatever her age, as selfish and unnatural for her choice not to have children all that different from slut-shaming a woman for her choice to use birth control?
      For that matter, how is telling a woman, whatever her age, that she is simply too young to follow through on her decision not to have children different than willfully misinforming women who want abortions, or forcing them to have a medically unnecessary ultrasound?
      I commend you, Ms. Olsen, for standing by your decision, but even if someday in the future you don’t, the point is that it should be ENTIRELY your decision and yours alone, not one to be made for you by someone who thinks she knows better. I commend you also for remaining compassionate and not allowing yourself to become embittered by the scrutiny you have faced. I hope you find a doctor who will honor your decision.