Men in Texas are protesting the abortion ban by any means necessary.
One urology clinic in Austin reported “about a 15% increase in scheduled vasectomies” since the law went into effect on Sept. 1, according to a new Washington Post report. The minor surgery cuts and seals the supply of sperm, thereby averting pregnancy.
Austin Urology Institute’s Dr. Koushik Shaw told WaPo that clients are telling him, “Hey, I’m actually here because some of these changes that [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott and our legislature have passed that are really impacting our decision-making in terms of family planning.”
Shaw continued, “That was a new one for me as a reason — the first time patients are citing a state law as their motivating factor.”
On Jan. 7, a federal appeals court is scheduled to hear the case against the so-called “heartbeat law,” prohibiting abortions occurring anytime after approximately six weeks since conception — when the fetus’ first heartbeat can be ascertained — after a state judge ruled it unconstitutional. In the meantime, women are driving hours across state lines to have the procedure done legally — or, worse, taking care of it behind closed doors.
At the same time, the United States Supreme Court effectively reopened Roe v. Wade, the landmark federal legislation upholding a woman’s right to an abortion, when they agreed to rule on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which involves Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks. Critics say the case could upend 50 years of legal precedent and launch a trend of abortion bans through the country.
Regardless of the law, men have long lagged behind women in pregnancy prevention. As Jezebel reports, according to Krystale Littlejohn’s book “Just Get on the Pill: The Uneven Burden of Reproductive Politics,” 21.1% of married women opt for tubal sterilizations — aka getting their “tubes tied” — while just 13.1% of husbands reported having vasectomies, a much simpler, low-risk and reversible procedure with virtually no side effects that’s completed in an outpatient setting.
Overall, an estimated 65% of US women between 15 and 49 years old are currently using contraception, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common form of medical birth control among them is tube tying, at 18.1%. At about 14%, the next most common method is “the pill,” which comes with myriad health side effects for users, including weight gain, low libido and high risk of blood clot.
That’s probably why urologist Dr. Doug Stein, founder of World Vasectomy Day and known in his community as the “Vasectomy King,” called the procedure an “act of love” in a marriage, and “the ultimate way to be a good man” to one’s wife.
“The fact we’re not out there fighting every bit as hard as women is shameful,” said Stein, whose website is a one-stop shop for everything a dude needs to know about “the snip,” including where to get it.
Millions of doctors of all stripes, and patients, too, have gleefully joined Stein’s movement since it first launched in 2013. Dr. Sarah Miller, a Boston-based primary care doctor, told WaPo, “It warms my heart to hear men say, ‘I am so nervous, but I know this is nothing compared to what my wife has gone through.’ ”
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