Writer Holly Brockwell responds to criticism after winning four-year battle to be sterilised on the NHS

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Holly Brockwell
A woman has been sterilised on the NHS after a four-year battle with the service.

Writer and online editor Holly Brockwell, now aged 30, initially asked her doctor for the operation when she was 26, but was told that they thought she was 'too young'.

Now, after a lengthy procedure and a staggering amount of online abuse deeming her to be 'selfish', 'naive' and 'incapable of love', Holly has had the operation, and couldn't be happier with her choice.

Updating her 22,600 Twitter followers on her condition, she wrote, 'My. Tubes. Are. Tied.'

Holly shared updates throughout the day of her surgery

She added that while she felt like she was 'having a year's worth of period pains at once' and had to return to hospital after some unpleasant side effects, 'aside from the pain I feel fine, and more importantly, NO REGRETS. At all.'

The case has been high profile, with Holly writing a number of features on the subject, as well as appearing on radio and TV shows, including ITV's This Morning, to discuss the reasoning behind her decision.

Holly during one of her appearances on This Morning

Back in March, she told hosts Ruth Langsford and Rylan Clark, 'It's going to save the NHS money, it's actually cheaper than contraception and cheaper than treating the side effects. '

'It's cheaper than actually having a child on the NHS, it's cheaper than having IVF and all sorts of other things that the NHS offers.'

'In the long term it will save them money. The "lifestyle choice" argument is a silly one to me, because having children is a lifestyle choice. Both should be equally respected, surely? Why is one more OK than the other?'

Holly's official diagnosis for the operation is that she does not want to have children

Now, having undergone the operation, Holly says she's 'euphoric' about the fact that she will never have biological children.

In a piece written for the Daily Mail the day after her op, she says 'Today I know for certain that I will never have children.

'That might seem like a strange thing to be excited about. For many people, it would be devastating news. But for me, it's everything I've been fighting for over the last four years.

'I've suffered horrendous attacks on my character, looks, career, even my partner. I've been called names that I can't repeat in a family newspaper, and all because I don't want to become a mother.' points out that keeping her on another form of contraception, like the pill, would have exceeded the cost of her operation

'Not having kids doesn't mean I don't have a maternal side, either: I'm crazy about my nieces. I just don't want to be a mother – and that seems to be something that both men and women find difficult to accept, as I've found to my cost.

'I hope my fight has gone some way to changing attitudes towards women who feel the same way I do, particularly those many child-free women who struggle to be taken seriously by their families, friends and doctors.

Continued below...

'But until we accept that not all women are born to become mothers themselves, we haven't won the war.'

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Pat Hartshorne

Good for her!!! I told my mom before I even started kindergarten that I never wanted children and I never wanted to get married. My parents and family never expected me to do either one. I finally got married at age 56, but I have never wanted children and my biological clock never ticked -- I considered it seriously -- for about 2 minutes. It would have been a lot easier if I had my tubes tied young and didn't have to have all those years of birth control. My husband had a vasectomy at age 19. I don't understand the vitriol from people who think they can tell you what they think you should do. As if our only purpose in life is to be a baby factory. If you want children, that is great for you! Have children! If you don't want children, that shouldn't be any different. Children are great, I just didn't want any of my own. And if someone changes their mind, there are lots of unwanted children out there that need a loving home.

Debra Kennedy

I am 60 years old. No kids. Husband had a vasectomy almost 30 years ago. No ticking clock, no regrets. None. I genuinely like children, but knew that I just did not want to raise them. If you have been in GYN medicine for many years and think there aren't other women like me, then you haven't been paying attention.

Paul Hazelwood

You fear on her behalf is irrelevant though, and you should have no say whatsoever about it.


Being in GYN medicine for many years you should know that even this procedure is reversible should she change her mind. Thanks for reiterating the point of the article... people judging a woman for the choice she made about her own body.

Annabeth Jackson

She obviously should be able to choose whether she has kids or not and it's not a bad thing to never have kids. Many people have kids when they shouldn't. I think it's a great idea for doctors to be extra cautious when someone says they want that operation, it's a serious decision. It sounds like she got her tubes tied which isn't the same as sterilization, it can be reversed. My cousin had a reversal and now has twins.

Wendy Elise Crow

I am 51 and have never had my clock tick, ever. Even when holding my nephews and niece. Let is go.

Alandra Acevedo

I am so glad that I don't have anyone like you in charge of my reproductive care.


I am afraid she will one day regret it. Her biological clock just wasn't ticking yet. But it will. They always do. And it will be too late for her. I have been in GYN medicine for many years and have seen what hormonal changes do.

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