Appointments for free vasectomies at a Planned Parenthood center in Oklahoma filled up in less than 48 hours as dozens of men signed up to get ‘the cut.’
It is believed that up to 100 spaces were made available at the Oklahoma City clinic, and all spaces were filled in less than two days, with many more men joining the waiting list.
Clinic staff say more men are signing up for the procedure because of the state’s political climate, and Gov. Kevin Stitt has vowed to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the country. Under current state laws, abortions are illegal after fertilization with very few exceptions.
A vasectomy, which can cost $1,000, is a surgical procedure to sterilize a man in which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the outside of the body, are cut in half and stitched closed.
Men who undergo the procedure can still ejaculate, but their semen no longer contains sperm, eliminating the risk of pregnancy.
The Planned Parenthood clinic in Oklahoma City (pictured) offered free vasectomies and appointments were filled within 48 hours.
Emma Wales (pictured), director of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said they were seeing an increase in demand amid laws restricting abortions.
The free vasectomies were announced in the previous post, which was shared more than 6,000 times and received 900 comments.
The free vasectomy offer at the Planned Parenthood Great Plains clinic in Oklahoma City was announced in a Facebook post, which quickly garnered more than 6,000 shares and 900 comments.
The vasectomies are scheduled for October 20 and 21 and men will need to undergo a prior consultation to ensure they understand the procedure.
The clinic did not disclose exactly how many free vasectomies it was performing, but in previous cases where other Planned Parenthood clinics made the offer, one hundred appointments for free vasectomies were made available.
Emma Wales, director of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told the local news station News 4: ‘Vasectomy is not something that is often within the reach of people who have few resources; cost is often a barrier.
“This has meant we have a lot of people wanting to come in.”
He added: ‘Right now, a lot of what we’re hearing is that people are worried about the government overreaching.
“So for some people, that means they want to plan for the long term and they want to know that their contraceptive choices are theirs.”
This is believed to be the first time this Oklahoma clinic has offered free vasectomies.
Men who signed up first will have a telephone consultation with a clinic staff member to have the procedure explained, including the process, recovery and the fact that, in most cases, a vasectomy is irreversible.
For the procedure, doctors use a minimally invasive technique called vasectomy without needle or scalpel.
This is where a small puncture wound is made to the top of the scrotum to allow doctors to reach and cut the vas deferens before removing a small section and stitching it closed.
This is done while patients are awake and under local anesthesia to numb the area. It may take about 30 minutes to complete.
A traditional vasectomy involves making a small incision with a scalpel at the top of the scrotum to allow surgeons to cut the vas deferens.
Dr. Esgar Guarín, who performs vasectomies in his mobile clinic he calls “The Nutcracker,” previously said, “It’s worse to go to the dentist, I always tell my patients.”
A vasectomy is almost always effective in preventing pregnancy, while oral contraception is about 91 percent effective.
While a vasectomy is typically irreversible, soon after a man performs it, doctors can successfully reattach the vas deferens; This window closes in a few months.
The procedure is also not an instant contraceptive method. Men are likely to still have sperm in their semen for up to three months as they are gradually removed from the tubes with each ejaculation.
Vasectomies have become more popular across the country since Roe v Wade was overturned, and several clinics say they are seeing more men than ever sign up for the procedure.
Data suggests a record number of Americans are now getting “the cut,” while some clinics say they are seeing an increase in young men in their 20s and 30s wanting one.
And Oklahoma is no exception: Doctors say they’re seeing an increase in demand.
Dr. Basel Hassoun, a urologist who runs a clinic in the state, told the publication Nstate news: “We are seeing more and more vasectomies being performed, especially after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt has vowed to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the United States. He currently prohibits abortions after fertilization except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
He added that the change appeared to be solely due to the change in abortion laws in the state.
Oklahoma enacted a law banning virtually all abortions (or abortions after fertilization) in August, with very few exceptions.
Upon signing, Governor Stitt said, “I promised Oklahomans that, as governor, I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that comes across my desk, and I am proud to have kept that promise.”
The state supreme court overturned part of the ban in March of this year, to make it easier to perform abortions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.
However, many women in the state, which is also one of the poorest in the United States, will still need to travel to other states for abortions.
In addition to next month’s Oklahoma event, Planned Parenthood also offered free vasectomies to young uninsured men in Missouri earlier this year for the third time.
A total of 100 procedures were offered to patients at its three locations in honor of World Vasectomy Day.