Across the country, men are receiving more vasectomies in order to protest the Texas abortion law that went into effect on the first of September.
The law, which is the most restrictive in the nation, has so far been left in place, and it bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected (usually at around six weeks of pregnancy).
Dr. Koushik Shaw of the Austin Urology Institute in Texas said he has seen a 15 percent increase in men coming in for scheduled appointments to receive vasectomies. Shaw noted that after the Texas near-ban was enacted in September, men had come in for the procedure because the law affected their “family planning.”
He recalled that patients who came in said they had done so “because some of these changes that [Gov. Greg] Abbott and our Legislature have passed that they are really impacting our decision-making in terms of family planning.”
S.B.8 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, and it prohibits medical workers as well as abortion clinics from performing abortions if they have “detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child.”
The law still provides exceptions for certain emergencies. It does, however, allow individuals to sue anyone who provides abortion services or otherwise “aids or abets them” after a heartbeat has been detected.
The campaign of getting vasectomies has been termed the “act of love” movement, which was started by urologist Doug Stein who is also known as the “Vasectomy King” on billboards and other advertisements.
Sarah Miller, a Boston doctor who specializes in family medicine, says she supports Stein’s “act of love” movement. “It’s a remarkable trend in the family planning community of recognizing and promoting vasectomy and birth control for men,” she said, “where this was once considered more fringe.”
Vasectomies as primary birth control could become even more popular as Roe v. Wade could be overturned by the Supreme Court in the next year.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON POST
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