Clinics in US state offer free vasectomies after surge in demand following Roe v Wade abortion ruling | US News
Free vasectomies will be offered at clinics in Missouri in response to a surge in demand after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.
Sixty procedures will be available at mobile clinics in St Louis, Springfield and Joplin as part of an initiative run by family planning charity, Planned Parenthood, during the first week of November.
In June, the US Supreme Court, the highest court in America, voted to overturn the constitutional right to choose abortion, which has existed for more than 50 years.
The controversial ruling means a woman’s right to decide is now determined individually by each of the 50 US states.
Weeks later in July, Planned Parenthood clinics in St Louis and southwest Missouri performed 42 vasectomies – compared to just 10 in the same month in 2021.
Female sterilisations increased to 18 from just three a year earlier.
The operations will be offered to uninsured patients by Dr Esgar Guarin – who will host the so-called “Nutcracker” mobile clinics alongside the charity.
He then plans to offer a further 40 free vasectomies in the state of Iowa.
The scheme has been launched as part of World Vasectomy Day.
Dr Guarin, who sits on the medical advisory board for the annual event, said: “It’s a very particular moment in reproductive rights in the United States. And we need to talk about it.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reports more people are seeking the procedure.
Meanwhile Planned Parenthood’s national website has seen a 53% spike in vasectomy information searches over the past 100 days, a spokesperson for the charity said.
And data on Google Trends showed vasectomy searches hit their highest level after the US Supreme Court announced its decision.
In Texas, which brought in strict abortion law in the wake of the ruling, the Austin Urology Institute reports carrying out 50% more vasectomies.
Many patients are men who don’t want to become fathers and regarded abortion access as a back-up if birth control failed, according to the institute’s Dr Koushik Shaw.
“It really pushed family planning to the forefront of people’s thoughts,” he said.
Dr Margaret Baum, medical director of Planned Parenthood in the St Louis region and southwest Missouri, will work alongside Dr Guarin.
She added: “I think people are afraid, number one, about abortion not being accessible, which I think is a very real and legitimate fear and in the reality for a large part of folks in our country.
“And I think people are also really afraid (of) what else might be next.”
‘Grim circumstances under which I made this decision’
Truck driver Denny Dalliance, 31, signed up for a free vasectomy after fearing the consequences of having a child due to working away from home on most days.
Missouri, his home state, was among the first in the US with a trigger law in effect to ban abortion at any point in pregnancy.
Mr Dalliance said: “These are grim circumstances under which I made this decision.
“I don’t want to come off as though I’m unhappy to be doing this, but this is a situation where my hands kind of got forced with regards to the Roe vs Wade decision.”
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“I feel that with the extreme cost involved with having a child in the United States, I got priced out.
“And so this is me cashing out my chips, as it were.
“It’s the right ethical decision for me, but it’s not one that’s made lightly.”
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