Response: Why Physicians Should Stop Thinking That A Woman’s Choice To Be Childfree Is Up For Debate


Sometimes in life, you have moments that get your attention. You survive something and you do your best to minimize and/or normalize the experience. The truth is, you’re deeply disappointed by your world and those you thought were there to help you. It’s only years later, when you’re allowed to dust off these memories that you realize that the shame you’ve been carrying around doesn’t belong to you.

When I was in my 20’s, I was married and in seminary. I was quickly realizing that I didn’t want to have biological children. My husband agreed. We had made our decision, after 5 years of research and marriage, 7 years together as a couple, which is more than I can say for many parents but I digress.

When I went to my (female) doctor seeking a more permanent solution I was laughed at and told to wait for menopause or told to have a couple kids and then we could discuss my options.

I switched providers.

My husband had a vasectomy and he was still under scrutiny but not told to wait for old age or to have children first before he could have the procedure.

In the time before and since making our decision permanent, I have cultivated a childfree network online. Recently a person in that network wanted to write about experiences such as mine. I didn’t even realize until I read her work in it’s entirety how ashamed I was, for what had happened to me at that doctor’s office.

I’m not ashamed anymore, I am “A” I am April Barnhart.

Thank you Chanel for the gift of bearing witness to my pain/shame and in so doing, allowing me to place it where it belongs, I now offer my story as a gift, may the internet take it where it may, may it be a mirror, with G-d’s help,  a snapshot, reflecting a moment in our world and our medical industrial complex.

Is this how we want things to be? Don’t we all deserve better?


Read more of Chanel’s piece here:


Day 11 NaPoWriMo: Bop


Man made himself King, then named himself God.

Instead of reverence for the ability to usher forth both birth and death,

An entire gender, countless generations, have been silenced and oppressed,

While men play with weapons, make war and generally misbehave,

The tide is rising, while men ignore the waves,

Women can no longer sit idle and watch the foolish scenes,

It’s time to live into the vision of their OWN wild and delicious dreams.

But, man made himself King, then named himself God.

In America, nearly 200 years after he stole and formed by force, his country,

He gave woman a vote, a small voice in his democracy,

100 years later Women still under-represented in all forms of leadership,

Discredited by childish archaic insult:  called ugly, old and or witch,

1 in 4 women sexually assaulted but that doesn’t include those scared to report,

Convinced with good reason, should they come forward they’d be labeled as whores,

Single mothers, pillars of Sheba’s strength,

Raising fatherless sons and daughters with no thanks.

Because, man made himself king then named himself god.

She took up no arms, other than her own,

Reclaimed the church, government and medicine as her rightful home,

Learned to defend herself when under attack,

Generations were buried but not before making an undeniable impact,

Blood moon obscured by bright shimmery star,

Delusions of grandeur must be called out for what they are:

Man made himself King, then named himself God.

NaPoWriMo Day 8: Repetition


Last night, I watched an Episode of “Good Girls Revolt” (totally ready for season 2!) in which a woman has decided to leave her husband. He says some incredibly callous things to her, which provoke her to the point of slapping him. His response is to take the tumbler he is drinking from and smash it across her face. As she sits with a gash in her cheek and as he blubbers his repentance I couldn’t help but remembering a woman I once came across in a domestic violence shelter. I was a seminary student and was volunteering with a local domestic violence shelter and a young woman was across from me, black eye, arm in a sling, on crutches and a cast on her leg was telling me about how she ‘deserved’ the beating her husband had given her, which was the cause for her injuries.

Initially I wasn’t sure what to write for today’s poem but then, as it does, it emerged. My poem today will address domestic violence. Sadly, women are still the target of sexism and unequal treatment, in America and abroad. Stateside, we can claim many victories but the fight is far from over. This battered woman came across my path less than 5 years ago. If you are in this kind of a situation, please seek support, so many of us are pulling for you and praying for you, please call:


The house wasn’t clean, the dinner was burned,

That is when he struck her.

He felt she’d embarrassed him

She was a bit too friendly with his old friends

Before she knew it everything was a blur,

That is when he struck her.

On the field he was their hero,

In the elevator, her own personal zero,

Did she think he was a joker?

That is when he struck her.

He cried, he tried to plead,

She knew it was time to leave,

She was vetiver and myrrh,

That is when he struck her,

That is when he struck her,

That is when he struck her,

For the last time.