Sep 16, 2022 - News

Vasectomies in Iowa have increased since overturning of Roe v. Wade

Illustration of a doctor wearing a red tie, with his arms crossed over his chest his stethoscope tied in knots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vasectomies at Lakeview Center for Urology in West Des Moines have more than doubled since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Fawad Zafar, a doctor there, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Lakeview's experience isn't isolated, marking what could be a significant shift in the evolution of the attitudes about a man's role in family planning.

Catch up quick: Decisions about abortion access are now largely in the hands of state governments.

  • For now, abortion remains legal during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy in Iowa but Gov. Kim Reynolds is working to further restrict the procedure.

State of play: Dozens of Iowa's obstetric units and birthing centers have closed since 2000, creating what some refer to as a maternal/child health desert.

  • The longtime demise of family-planning and care options has resulted in a change in psyche among men, The Post reports.
  • A Generation Lab poll in May found that 11% of men would be more likely to get a vasectomy if abortion was illegal, Axios' Shawna Chen reports.

Zoom in: Lakeview is now performing more than 60 vasectomies a month and has extended its hours to accommodate the demand, Zafar said.

  • Both single men and those in relationships are increasingly seeking the procedure. And the majority don't have children, Zafar said.

Of note: Vasectomies generally cost around $1,000, according to NerdWallet.

  • They can be successfully reversed in most cases, according to an analysis published last year in the journal SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine.

Big picture: It's unclear if the recent uptick in vasectomies at some facilities is a blip or the start of a long-term trend, The New York Times reports.

  • Planned Parenthood North Central States, which operates in DSM, saw a small increase in questions about the procedure — which it doesn't offer — soon after the Supreme Court ruling. But that has since leveled off, spokesperson Sheena Dooley told Axios.
  • Broadlawns Medical Center's Urology Clinic has not seen an increase in demand, spokesperson Katie Wengert told Axios.

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