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More men are seeking vasectomies now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe

The Cleveland Clinic said it normally gets three to four requests a day for vasectomies but that it got 90 from Friday to Wednesday.
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The day after the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion about Roe v. Wade was published online, Sam Peagler made an appointment to get a vasectomy.

Peagler, 26, a copywriter for Meta who lives in Austin, Texas, decided with his wife years ago that they didn’t want children. He'd figured he would get the procedure after he turned 30, but he moved up the timeline because he felt a need "to exercise my bodily autonomy to protect her and protect myself," he said.

"I’ve been wanting to get a vasectomy, at least planning on it at some point, for most of my adult life," Peagler said. "I was comfortable in the decision that I wasn’t going to have children, and my wife was comfortable with it, as well. It was something we discussed together."

The vasectomy, a form of medical sterilization in which sperm is surgically blocked in a man, was performed last month.

Sam Peagler and with his wife.
Sam Peagler and his wife.Courtesy Sam Peagler

"Once [the draft] came out, I knew things weren’t going to get better, at least not for a while," he said.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, ending a constitutional right to abortion. The ruling sparked protests across the country and triggered a flurry of legal activity in state courts by abortion rights advocates. It also led more men to seek vasectomies, like Peagler.

On Thursday, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio said it has had a "significant increase" in scheduling requests for vasectomies. It usually gets three to four requests a day, but from Friday to Wednesday it got 90, a spokesperson said.

University Hospitals, also in Ohio, said it has seen a "slight increase in inquiries about vasectomies since the ruling but not necessarily appointments."

Dr. David Robbins, a urologist in North Miami, Florida, told WPLG-TV that calls have increased so much at his clinic that he is considering going in on Saturdays to keep up with the demand for appointments.

In Missouri, Dr. Christian Hettinger, a urologist at Kansas City Urology Care, said his office has been bombarded with calls seeking information about the procedure.

"Since Friday, we’re up 900% in people looking to get a vasectomy,” he told NBC affiliate KSHB.

Ohio, Texas, Florida and Missouri are among the many states that had so-called trigger laws for abortion — designed to quickly ban or severely restrict the procedure after the Roe decision was reversed — or that planned to enforce other bans on abortions.

Jerald Stiedaman, 46, of Evanston, Illinois, who called Friday to schedule a vasectomy consultation, said the end of Roe "absolutely" played a role in his decision, even though abortions are still legal in his state.

"I am married, and we are done having children — however, while I don’t plan on having more children, I don’t want to ever have it be possible to cause a pregnancy in the future, ever again. Men are part of the pregnancy equation, and we have to take responsibility," he said.

"It was something I had been considering for some time, and this pushed me. It’s for my wife and my daughter."

Paul Rahfield Jr., 37, of New Orleans, said he scheduled a vasectomy for similar reasons. A court has temporarily blocked Louisiana's trigger law.

"Between the trigger law, our [attorney general] and the looming death of Roe v. Wade, my wife decided she was going to get a tubal ligation. While she was at her OB-GYN, I decided that I would just get a vasectomy and started calling urologists," he said.

"My thinking was that I’d be a pretty terrible husband if I was OK with making my wife bear the sole burden for an issue affecting both of us, especially considering for me to make good only requires a small outpatient procedure."

Rahfield said that with the Supreme Court's decision and Louisiana's ban, he felt his wife's safety was at risk.

"If Roe hadn’t been reversed, my wife wouldn’t have been looking at getting a ligation, nor would I have opted to get a vasectomy. Louisiana is planning to punish women as much as it can. We don’t want kids. Very simply, my wife is my life. These laws create too many scenarios that jeopardize my wife’s safety," he said.

Dr. Philip Werthman, the director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, suggested that people not make any rash decisions that could permanently affect their health.

"I’m very, very, very happy and proud to hear that men are taking responsibility for their reproductive health and their reproductive choices. I think for way too long in the country men have been a little bit out of the conversation, and it’s fallen on the women, and it should fall on both parties," he said. "But if you’re going to do something surgical and permanent, you really need to think about it."

According to the Mayo Clinic, vasectomies can be reversed, but they “should be considered a permanent form of male birth control.”

Peagler, who had a consultation before he had the procedure, said he understands the weight of his decision.

"If my wife can't protect her own body and have control over her own body, then I feel like I have a responsibility to do it for both myself and for her," he said.