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

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  • 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.’


    Holly 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.

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

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