When it comes to women who make an informed decision to ask for sterilization, everything from age, marital status and previous number of pregnancies to a hospital’s religious affiliation or a doctor’s personal beliefs can be used as a reason to deny care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists makes these biases explicit in 2007: The procedure “may have important effects on individuals other than the patient,” such as the patient’s husband or partner (whose approval some doctors require). The unusual requirements some doctors impose — waiting periods, age restrictions and psychological evaluations — are similar to those that legislators opposed to abortion have enacted for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.