Dr. Stein told the newspaper that before the Supreme Court decision, he received four or five vasectomy requests a day. Since the court’s decision was announced, that number has spiked to 12 to 18 requests per day. He said the number that’s still coming in “far exceeds what we have experienced in the past.” The Post reported:
In Texas, the existing six-week cut-off for abortion already in existence before the SCOTUS ruling wasn’t harsh enough. The Lonestar state is planning to introduce a near-total abortion ban to take effect in about a month, identifying life as beginning at fertilization.
Dr. Nancy Binford, an OB-GYN in Austin, Texas, told The Daily Beast that since last Friday, she had received three requests from people in their 20s asking for tubal ligations. She said that over the last 20 years that she has been in practice she normally receives about one request a year for the sterilization procedure from a person in that age group.
“These are women who never wanted to have children and because of the state of the world, they want to get their tubes tied,” Binford said. “It’s chilling to think that what the SCOTUS ruling is doing is pushing women toward sterilization.”
The Daily Beast added:
Binford insisted that she will not be performing a tubal ligation for a 20-year-old “requesting it out of fear right now,” because they may regret it later. That said, she is “putting in IUDs left and right.”
“The world is burning right now, and looks like The Handmaid’s Tale,” she added. “And I think even seeing these requests for tubal ligations from women so young proves how scared they are about their freedom.”
But another Austin OB-GYN, Dr. Tyler Handcock, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that his clinic, the Women’s Health Domain, had received over 130 new patient requests in the first four days since the Supreme Court ruling from people seeking permanent sterilization. He said the normal number of consultations for tubal ligations previously at the facility was about one or two per week. The following message was posted on the Women’s Health Domain website:
Due to changes in law & women's rights, we want you to know we are your advocate, we hear you, we see you & we are right here with you.
Our requests for appointments and sterilization services/procedures has increased by nearly 1000% since June 24th.
We will get in touch with you to schedule an appointment, if you contact us .... Please be patient as we work to accommodate all as fast as we can.
In Kentucky, where a “trigger law” went into effect after the SCOTUS ruling that bans abortion except as a life-saving measure for the pregnant person, a Louisville OB-GYN, who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity, said that her office had received more than 50 requests for tubal ligation consultations since Friday. Reproductive health advocates have cautioned that people should seek the procedure only if they have a firm desire never to have children—and not as a reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe.
Dr. Franziska Hasselhof, an Ohio OB-GYN who has been posting a series of TikTok videos advising people of their health care rights, cautioned that abortion bans and a desire for a tubal ligation should be “two separate discussions”—and that patients should not rush to get the permanent procedure just because they might lose their right to choose in any given state. She told The Daily Beast:
“Both are very important components of health care. Full sterilization is not supposed to negate the need for abortion. Of course, I am devastated by the decision that has been made in the Supreme Court last week, but patients shouldn’t be seeking to get their tubes tied as a reaction to not getting [or being able to get] an abortion.”
Here are some of the reports from red states:
Esgar Guarin, a urologist who specializes in vasectomies, told The Washington Post that he has seen a “200 to 250%” increase in traffic on his website offering information about vasectomies.
Vasectomy specialist Dr. Luke Machen of Austin Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, said the clinic received over 150 vasectomy appointment requests combined on Friday and Monday following the SCOTUS ruling. Typically, the clinic performs 45 to 50 vasectomies per month, the Austonia news website reported. Similar spikes were reported at other local clinics such as the Austin Urology Institute.
Austin Nicholson said he got a vasectomy in September 2021 shortly after Texas introduced its vigilante law banning abortions after about six weeks. “A big part of it was the political climate. We could both potentially face consequences and she would definitely face more consequences, which I also personally would not want,” Nicholson said. “I didn't want to be stuck in Texas and have a potential abortion on the mind when it's illegal.”
Nicholson said that since the Supreme Court ruling three of his friends had told him they were considering the procedure.
Nashville urologist Dr. Joseph Pazona said he’s been receiving an influx of calls inquiring about vasectomies because of Tennessee’s abortion ban. Before the SCOTUS ruling, he was performing 50 to 60 vasectomies a month, but told Nashville’s News Channel 5 that he’s prepared to double the number he performs due to the ban.
Thirty-six-year-old Joseph Carrizales said he’s looking into getting a vasectomy because he doesn’t want any more kids. "I had my son at a pretty young age, and so I had to grow up pretty quickly. And I want to have some, call it 'me-time' I guess, in the near future, and have the ability to do that,” Carrizales said. “While I enjoy my son—I love kids very much—I want to be able to have some of that time myself."
In Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Christian Hettinger. a urologist at Kansas City Urology Care, where there are about two dozen clinics across the Kansas City area, said that since last Friday “we’re up 900% in people looking to get a vasectomy.” He told KSHB 41 News that the demand for vasectomy consults is drastically increasing across both Missouri and Kansas.
Lyon Lenk, 35, told the TV station that he is considering getting a vasectomy because of his fiancee’s medical condition and the risk to her that could result from a pregnancy due to the state’s abortion ban. “We got engaged at the beginning of the pandemic, because there’s just no one else I want to do this life thing with,” he said. “Kelsey is everything to me, I’ve never met a kinder, beautiful person.”
“We’ve talked about me getting a vasectomy,” he said. “I’ve got to contemplate what could potentially be a lifesaving procedure for the person I love the most. … It’s not right for everybody. Either I get this, or we risk her being denied a procedure down the line and that’s unacceptable to me, so it’s not a sacrifice, it’s the right thing to do.”
Urologists at the Cleveland Clinic also said they have seen a significant increase in requests for vasectomies in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. Previously the clinic got three to four scheduling requests per day. Since the ruling, the clinic has received a total of 90 requests as of Wednesday, Fox 8 News reported.
One of those requesting the procedure was Brandon Hire, who takes care of adult twin daughters with disabilities. His wife suffers from chronic pain. His first consultation is in about two weeks. “It is not an option for my family to get pregnant with another baby,” Hire told the TV station. “The danger is if she does get pregnant and is forced to carry a baby to term, the medication she is on could cause damage to the baby. But stopping the medications would make her life unlivable.”
It’s hard to say how many Americans will actually go through with such procedures. But this is one snapshot of the pain and suffering that Republicans and their hand-picked Supreme Court have chosen to unleash on those in this country who do not share their warped ideology.
There’s a saying that’s believed to have been originated by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, in his work Amorphisms. He was referring to the need for extreme methods of cure to treat extreme diseases. His statement has morphed over the centuries. And as this story illustrates, we find ourselves in a situation where “desperate times call for desperate measures.”