All the ways Americans are trying to avoid pregnancy in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson decision
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The landmark Supreme Court decision overturning Roe V. Wade has sparked an influx of Americans to take action on avoiding pregnancy, including getting vasectomies and building a supply of Plan B pills.
“It’s not right for everybody,” Lyon Lenk told Fox 17 of deciding to get a vasectomy after Roe was overturned. “Either I get this, or we risk [his fiancee] 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.”
The nation’s highest overturned Roe V. Wade last Friday, effectively ending the recognition of abortion as a constitutional right. Urologists who spoke to the media conveyed there was an almost immediate uptick in vasectomy inquiries after the decision.
“Typically, it’s about three phone calls over a weekend,” Kansas City Urology Care’s Dr. Christian Hettinger told Fox 17 of a single clinic’s calls for vasectomy consults. “Over this past weekend, it was 50 calls looking for vasectomies.”
Crowds outside the court reacting to the Dobbs ruling.
(Photo by Joshua Comins/Fox News)
Overall, Hettinger said calls about the permanent sterilization procedure increased by about 900% over the course of less than a week.
Another urologist in Florida, dubbed the “Vasectomy King,” reported more of the same. Dr. Doug Stein said he typically received between four or five vasectomy requests per day, but that figure shot up to between 12 to 18 per day, the Washington Post reported.
“It was very, very noticeable Friday, and then the number that came in over the weekend was huge and the number that is still coming in far exceeds what we have experienced in the past,” Stein told the Washington Post. “Many of the guys are saying that they have been thinking about a vasectomy for a while, and the Roe v. Wade decision was just that final factor that tipped them over the edge and made them submit the online registration.”
Thomas Figueroa is among the group of men saying the Dobbs v. Jackson decision last week overturning Roe pushed him to get a vasectomy.
“It is something I put on the back-burner of my mind until very recently, when the Supreme Court decision happened,” Figueroa, 27, told the Washington Post of his decision to get a vasectomy. “That was basically the triggering factor right there. It pushed my mind to say: ‘Okay, I really do not want children. I’m going to get this vasectomy now.’”
But vasectomies aren’t the only trending method to prevent pregnancies following the Supreme Court’s decision: Sex strikes have also swept the nation.
“If we can’t safely go out and have sex and know that we will have a choice after that, then why should we be expected to?” Caroline Healey, a 22-year-old event coordinator, told the New York Post.
She said that men who do not get a vasectomy and are not protesting in the streets for easily-accessible abortions “do not deserve to have sex with me.”
“I think it’s absolutely valid for us to be withholding the Holy Grail that men seem to think is important,” she continued in her comments to the New York Post.
The calls to withhold sex became so prevalent that “abstinence” even trended on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
Women are also stockpiling Plan B, a pill taken after intercourse to prevent pregnancy, and other similar medications after last Friday. Some retail chains have also decided to ration such pills as people rush to buy them.
Volunteer clinic escort, Kaleb Masterson, poses for a portrait outside of a Planned Parenthood location in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2021. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse
“My first thought was that I would like to purchase morning-after pills not only for myself but for those who need it, because people are going to buy them and resell them for a crazy price,” 21-year-old Sarah McKenna told the New York Times. “I have friends and family who can’t always afford those things and I wanted to just have some extra to make sure that the people who need it can have it. Even if I have to ship it to somebody randomly.”
Even before the overturning of Roe was officially announced last week, some women had already rushed to get an IUD, which is a small device put into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy.
“We have to prepare for contraceptives to also be targeted. At this point, the possibilities are endless, so I’d rather be prepared,” Arlin Téllez told Bloomberg after scheduling her IUD appointment following the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion. “As someone in their early 20s, I am not ready to be a mother.”
Conservatives celebrated the overturning of Roe last week, while supporters of abortion have protested in the streets demanding easy access to the procedure.
Some pro-choice activists have also targeted pro-life pregnancy centers, vandalizing the buildings and leaving thousands of dollars in damages. The vandalism has also extended to some Catholic churches, including one outside of Washington, D.C., that was graffitied with messages such as, “This won’t stop” and “Separation of Church State.”
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