- Olivier Charbonneau, a 28-year-old from Canada, got a vasectomy in November.
- When the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, he shared his experience on Facebook.
- “You are not dancing tango alone, so we have to share the responsibility,” he said, encouraging other men to get one, too.
The news of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade enraged Olivier Charbonneau — even though he doesn’t live in the US.
The 28-year-old is from Canada and had gotten a vasectomy just months before the Supreme Court decision. And once the news dropped, he used social media to persuade other men to do the same.
“Vasectomy is a safe alternative to female birth control. Contraception is not only on women but on us men,” he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post in June. “Be smart, make the right choice.”
In an interview with Insider, Charbonneau said he had noticed that only his female friends had ever spoken or thought about birth control.
“Women were talking about how shocked they were about what was happening in the US,” he said. “But men, they were all silent. No one was talking about it.”
Despite the fact that he does not live in the US, Charbonneau said the news is still applicable to him and to other Canadians. Even though the decision was teased in May, when Politico published a draft Supreme Court opinion signaling a reversal of Roe v. Wade, the news shocked Charbonneau, because, he said, “it’s not impossible that people will try to do the same here.”
“Here in Canada, we are kind of protected,” he said. “But what will happen if it were here, if the loss of rights were in Canada instead?”
At the same time, speaking out in favor of vasectomies is a way to show solidarity with women in the US, he said.
“I realized that we had stepped back for the progression of women’s rights,” he said. “We are taking a step back, we’re taking away rights.”
He added, “I think in the US, I’m like, ‘Whoa, it’s a huge, huge regression about the rights. You can’t even decide if you want to keep it or not.’
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and June, leaving the legality of abortion in the hands of individual states.
By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has essentially made it illegal in at least 22 states to obtain an abortion. Additional restrictions are expected in several other states.
Charbonneau got his vasectomy done in November last year at age 27. He was in a relationship at the time and he didn’t want the burden of birth control to fall exclusively on his girlfriend, he said.
“You are not dancing tango alone, so we have to share the responsibility,” he told Insider.
He described the procedure as a simple process that took about two weeks. He pointed out that women have a harder time getting access to reproductive healthcare.
In Canada, “They’re going to tell you, ‘Oh, you’re too young. … But one day you’re going to want to have [a] kid,'” he said. “So it’s very hard for women here” to get preventive reproductive care that will prohibit the possibility of getting pregnant.
“It’s painless. It was free. It was covered by the health insurance,” he said.
Since speaking out about his own vasectomy, Charbonneau said men have been asking him about the process, seemingly because they’re considering getting one themselves.
“People are curious about it,” he said, adding that he wants men “to understand that they have responsibilities in the birth control” world.