Friday November 13, 2015 is World Vasectomy Day, as thousands of men worldwide will be sterilized in what organizers have dubbed a global “vasectomy-athon.”
According to the official website of the project, the worldwide event has been planned to encourage men to take a larger role in family planning – a role that normally falls to the woman of the pair – and to also combat resistance to the simple procedure.
According to a report, efforts to supply modern contraceptives to people in some of the world’s poorest countries are failing, with millions of women still unable to get access to them. According to event co-founder Jonathan Stack, men can become heroes to “their partners, to their families and to our future,” by shouldering responsibility for family planning and thus cutting down on unwanted pregnancies with a scalpel-free vasectomy.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) November 13, 2015
Stack’s co-founder, Doug Stein is a prominent vasectomy practitioner who has performed the procedure on more than 30,000 men. He told an audience in Bali today that the operation was positive for men, their families and their societies, adding, “It seems to be a wonderful option for men who have had as many children as they want.”
Organizers state that around four in 10 pregnancies worldwide are unplanned, with the family planning for the family left mostly to women, who then have to deal with the consequences of the unplanned pregnancies. They state that, despite the fact that the vasectomy procedure is safe and most often has no ill effect on the sex life of the couple, less than one percent of men are prepared to go through with the vasectomy procedure.
As reported by Newsmaker, to mark World Vasectomy Day, around 750 doctors in 25 countries worldwide will be performing the procedure on more than 3,000 volunteers. In most cases the operations are provided free or charge or are offered at discounted rates.
The Indonesian island of Bali is the headquarters for World Vasectomy Day 2015 and has already seen a ceremony in a temple where the first six men were introduced to an audience before heading to mobile health clinics for their scalpel-free vasectomy procedure.
Reportedly buses were kitted out with medical equipment and an operating table where the men underwent their brief and safe procedure.
Other countries involved in World Vasectomy Day include India, Spain and the United States. However, the project has received a certain amount of resistance in some countries. With Indonesia being a Muslim-majority country, efforts in the past were hampered by the country’s top Islamic clerical body, who declared the vasectomy procedure to be “haram,” or against Islamic law.
Back in 2012, a district in Sumatra tried to encourage civil servants to go through the procedure by offering the men cash in exchange for the operation. However, this backfired after women feared their sterilized husbands would then have affairs. In Iran, free vasectomies have now been abolished as the country seeks to improve its birth rate.
In many countries in the world, organizers of World Vasectomy Day came up against roadblocks due to the misguided belief that the simple procedure impairs a man’s virility. On top of this, in some sub-Saharan countries, medical experts are concerned that the widespread use of the procedure could cause to a lower usage of condoms, thus leading to higher HIV rates.
Today’s event is the third World Vasectomy Day, with the first held back in 2013 and hosted in Australia. Bali was reportedly chosen this year to coincide with an international family planning conference due to take place on the island. That event was regrettably postponed after Bali’s airport was closed by volcanic ash for several days.
Organizers had hoped to release a report Friday showing over 24 million more women and girls in the poorer countries do now have access to contraceptives since 2012 which, while good, is 10 million fewer than had been expected.
Not to be outdone, the Center for Biological Diversity and other wildlife projects have gotten involved by encouraging men around the country to “get whacked for wildlife.” The group want to show how human population growth affects wildlife, as well as the role men can play in preventing unplanned pregnancies.
I’ll take CRISPR Month to World Vasectomy Day https://t.co/4oo9XN8bNI pic.twitter.com/jpJvGBTMFY — Michael Moyer (@mmoyr) November 9, 2015
While the center is offering to cover costs for 20 vasectomies at two clinics in New York City, every man that gets involved in their World Vasectomy Day project will receive a free “Get Whacked for Wildlife” T-shirt featuring a polar bear with scissors and stating, “With more than 7 billion people, we’re crowding wildlife off the planet. Vasectomies help.”
[Photo screen capture via YouTube]