Married Father, Perennial Bachelor Among Growing Number of Men to Get Vasectomies Post-Roe v. Wade Overturning
A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, a bimonthly peer-reviewed medical journal, found a 35% increase in vasectomy consultation requests and a 22.4% increase in vasectomy consultations.
The number of men seeking vasectomies has increased in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of federal protections for the right to abortion, as have the demographics of the men who are seeking the procedure.
A study published in February in the International Journal of Impotence Research, a bimonthly peer-reviewed medical journal, found a 35% increase in vasectomy consultation requests and a 22.4% increase in vasectomy consultations.
These numbers were determined by comparing two three-month periods at a healthcare system in Cleveland before and after the Supreme Court's ruling.
In addition, the study found that three months after a consultation, the percentage of men who had undergone the procedure was higher after Roe v. Wade was overturned, at 66.2%, as compared to the 58.6% who underwent the procedure after a consultation before the overturning of the 1973 decision.
The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson limits the control women have over their reproductive health and bodily autonomy.
No state has placed any restrictions on the reproductive health and bodily autonomy of men at this time, which has apparently led some to consider a vasectomy for the first time.
Inside Edition Digital spoke with two different men in two different states with two different lifestyles about their decision to have a vasectomy, a procedure that both men never even thought about prior to the Dobbs decision.
Both men agreed to speak on the condition that their last names not be published, citing the need to protect their medical histories.
Marc is a married father-of-four living just outside Nashville, Tennessee. He had his vasectomy in January.
Seventy-two percent of the men getting vasectomies post-Dobbs were married, compared to 78% prior to Dobbs.
"I am 54 and I never really wanted to get the snip," he says. "But I also did not want to have a fifth kid. I love my children, but I also look forward to the day my children are out of my house."
Marc says that his youngest child was not planned, and because his wife is 15 years younger than him, there is still a possibility that an unplanned pregnancy could happen again.
"With my fourth son, we had the talk and briefly considered terminating the pregnancy, but neither of us could really bring ourselves to go through with it," he says. "Should she get pregnant again, I think we would almost certainly terminate the pregnancy."
He says that he feels some guilt because he can afford to have another child, but worries about being too old for landmark events.
"I basically got a vasectomy so I wouldn't be the dad in his 70s at graduation," says Marc. "My grandparents were even in their 70s when I graduated high school."
The main factor was the state where he lives, explains Marc.
"I made the appointment the week after Dobbs because we knew," says Marc. "We knew that abortion was going to be illegal in the state if the justices overturned Roe v. Wade. And it just seemed like laws were getting more and more archaic so for all I knew they would be dragging people through the streets in a year for even thinking about abortions, so it was a quick and easy fix."
Marc says that undergoing a vasectomy has removed a possible source of stress from his life.
"I have enough stress with the four kids I have terrorizing me and my home every day," says Marc. "I do not need the thought of a fifth causing me more stress."
JaMarcus 39, lives in Miami, Florida, is single and has no interest in marriage or having any having a child.
The study found that pre-Dobbs, 8.6% of the man seeking vasectomies were childless, while post-Dobbs, that number jumped to 16.9%.
It has been a few months since JaMarcus had his vasectomy and he is happy with his decision.
"I really should have done it sooner, if I am being truthful," he says. "I know I do not want to have any children and I definitely know I am not looking to settle down or get married, so it was kind of irresponsible that I never thought I might do this."
JaMarcus says that he is pro-choice, and has always let the women decide when it comes to terminating a pregnancy.
"I have been with two women who told me that they were pregnant with my child, and in both cases they made the decision to have an abortion," he says. "One of the woman informed me of her decision, the other asked me to weigh in. In that case I said that the decision was entirely up to her and promised to support her no matter what.
"And I would have [supported her], but it is not what I wanted at that time," he says. "That experience is what had the biggest impact on me when I decided to make an appointment and get this done."
JaMarcus says that he was two years out of college and the woman was in law school when she became pregnant.
"It was the spring I remember because she kept bringing it back to the fact that she had gotten a job for the summer at a big firm in New York City and she was doing out the math and figured that she would be about four months pregnant when she started and seven or eight months pregnant at the end of summer, so she would be visibly pregnant," he says. "The whole point of this summer associate position is to impress the partners at the firm so you get a job offer after you finish your third year, but she is realizing that she would be giving birth in the middle of the school year, plus the law firm is gonna know she has a young child because when she leaves, she'll be showing.
"Now, people can say what they want but we all know there is a stigma against women with children in the workplace. Today and 20 years ago when this happened," he continues.
Ultimately, the woman decided that she could not accomplish the goals she had for herself professionally if she had a child, says JaMarcus. He says that she did get a job offer at that firm but he had not spoken to or seen her since she left Miami after law school to take that position.
"Look, it was worth it." he says. "I don't know what I would be doing if I had kid then, But I think we would be two miserable adults who never realized our potential and hated one another raising a child. So we would probably ruin that child's life, too."
This is what weighed heaviest on his mind when he had his vasectomy, he says.
"I just thought, 'Imagine she did not have a choice even.' You know? Imagine you do not get to decide the course of your future, and that just devastated me. And it just seemed obvious," he says. "I have the ability to guarantee that no woman I sleep with has to deal with a situation like that. All men do."
JaMarcus says that he now worries less, and notes that his decision "is not hurting my sex life one bit."
He says twice in the past he was intimate with women who told him they had not been with a man since the Dobbs ruling.
"And these were women on birth control having protected sex," JaMarcus says. "And I swear this was not some line, they were serious."
He is open about having a vasectomy with those around him and spoke with his family before he had the procedure.
"My mom has her grandkids. I love my nieces and nephews. And I could always get it reversed, but I am not going to do that," says JaMarcus. "My family did not really say much one way or the other. I've got to be honest, it is not all that common in the Black community so my dad kind of thought I was crazy.'
JaMarcus says that he still finds the premise of debating the merits of having access to abortions confusing in many ways.
"Who is winning in these situations? Like, bringing a baby into this world to be raised by two people who did not want that baby or who are ill-equipped to raise a baby or who had to throw away their ambitions because of that baby," he says. "It benefits not one person."
JaMarcus lives in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban into law in April.
"Yeah, that is the new rule, and that is why I did what I did," he says. "I guess I can say that about the dude, he forced me to step up in a way I should have years ago. But that's all I have to say about Mr. DeSantis."
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