Many couples are taking extra precautions now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Men, in particular, are going out of their way to get a vasectomy, so they don’t have to worry about getting their partners pregnant. The procedure surgically blocks the release of sperm in men to prevent conception.
Lots of guys say the decision was a no-brainer, but doctors are struggling to keep up with rising demand.
Sam Peagler, a copywriter in Austin, TX, scheduled his appointment the day after the Supreme Court issued its verdict. He and his wife decided they didn’t want children years ago, but he moved up his timeline “to exercise my bodily autonomy to protect her and protect myself,” he said.
“I’ve been wanting to get a vasectomy, at least planning on it at some point, for most of my adult life,” Peagler said. “I was comfortable in the decision that I wasn’t going to have children, and my wife was comfortable with it, as well. It was something we discussed together.
“Once [the draft] came out, I knew things weren’t going to get better, at least not for a while,” he said.
Peagler isn’t alone.
The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio said it has seen a “significant increase” in scheduling requests for vasectomies. A spokesperson for the clinic said they were used to receiving around four calls today, but on Wednesday, they got about 90.
Dr. David Robbins, a urologist in North Miami, Florida, said he is considering going in on Saturdays to accommodate the rapid influx of new patients.
Doug Stein, a Florida urologist known as the “Vasectomy King”, said he’s getting around 18 calls a day, up from the usual three or four.
“It was very, very noticeable Friday, and then the number that came in over the weekend was huge and the number that is still coming in far exceeds what we have experienced in the past,” Stein said.
Some of his patients said they were thinking of getting a vasectomy for a while and that the death of Roe was the “final factor” in their decision. His office is now booked up through the end of August.
“I’d say at least 60 to 70 percentage mentioning the Supreme Court decision,” he told reporters. “And a few of them have such sophistication as young men that they actually are thinking about Justice [Clarence] Thomas and his opinion that contraception may fall next. And that’s shocking.”
Dr. Christian Hettinger, a urologist in Kansas City, Missouri, has also been bombarded with inquiries about the procedure. “Since Friday, we’re up 900% in people looking to get a vasectomy,” he said.
Jerald Stiedaman, 46, of Evanston, Illinois, scheduled his appointment on Wednesday. He said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade “absolutely” affected his decision.
“I am married, and we are done having children — however, while I don’t plan on having more children, I don’t want to ever have it be possible to cause a pregnancy in the future, ever again. Men are part of the pregnancy equation, and we have to take responsibility,” he said.
Thomas Figueroa, 27, also made the decision to forgo having children after the ruling came down.
“It is something I put on the back burner of my mind until very recently, when the Supreme Court decision happened,” Figueroa said. “That was basically the triggering factor right there. It pushed my mind to say: ‘Okay, I really do not want children. I’m going to get this vasectomy now.’”
Eric Nisi, 29, another Florida resident, is equally worried about losing access to birth control in the years to come. He knows he doesn’t want children and his girlfriend Amanda Omelian, 33, is already taking two forms of birth control. He wants to avoid the stress that comes with an unplanned pregnancy, especially if they can’t access an abortion in their home state.
“The world is a scary place, and you don’t know what’s coming, because it seems like we’re moving backward,” Nisi commented.
Figueroa added that the court’s decision has already had a dramatic effect on his personal life.
“This is probably one of the very, very rare things in politics that actually does affect me very personally and very hard,” he said. “It really woke my eyes up.”