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How realistic are the abortion workarounds that are filling social media? : NPR | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp


A demonstrator in Berlin in 2020 holds up a placard reading “Against Abortion?! Have a Vasectomy” during a protest against Poland’s near-total ban on abortion.

Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

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Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

A demonstrator in Berlin in 2020 holds up a placard reading “Against Abortion?! Have a Vasectomy” during a protest against Poland’s near-total ban on abortion.

Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

With abortion now being heavily restricted in many U.S. states following the fall of Roe v. Wade, social media has been filled with complicated and, in some cases, baseless workarounds that experts say should be intensely scrutinized before one considers pursing them.

Mandatory vasectomies, building clinics that offer abortion services on Native American reservations and placing children for adoption or foster care are among the most popular choices for post-Roe abortion workarounds, but experts say that these suggestions aren’t realistic.

Here’s what those researchers have to say about why these post-Roe workarounds are not as realistic as they may seem.

Mandatory vasectomies

When news hit that abortions were going to be nearly totally banned in several states, it was reported across the U.S. that calls for vasectomy appointments were increasing.

While many men were quoted saying they were doing it for their significant other or because they had no interest in having kids, Twitter was filled with suggestions, both serious and not, that men should be forced to get vasectomies.

“I understand that they are trying to show how restrictive abortion [bans] are on the body and how unfair it is and how it is an attack on women, but I do find that they are quite tone-deaf when it comes to the very real history of eugenics and of forced sterilization of men,” Georgia Grainger, a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, who is studying the history of vasectomies, told NPR over the phone.

In a thread that garnered over 17,000 retweets, Grainger explained why the idea of mandatory sterilization is harmful to men, especially men of color and men with disabilities.


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