A women’s health clinic in Texas has received more than 100 applications for permanent sterilizations since Friday.
Tubal ligation is a common procedure that involves removing both fallopian tubes.
dr. Tyler Handcock told Insider he expects more requests in the wake of Roe v. Wade is destroyed.
A women’s health clinic in Austin, Texas, received dozens of requests for permanent sterilization after Friday Supreme Court decision to Roe v. Wade. to be annulledthe landmark decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.
After the Health domain for women closed Friday night before the weekend, it received 109 new patient requests, most of them for tubal ligation or permanent sterilization.
dr. Tyler Handcock, an obstetrician who runs the practice, told Insider he was incredulous, considering the clinic has only been open for about a month.
“I feel they are afraid, they are anxious, they are nervous. They are afraid that other rights will be taken away. Maybe they are afraid that contraception in general will be taken away later. So they want to settle this now because they don’t have the feel that someone is supporting them,” he said of his patients.
In the coming weeks, reproductive rights in Texas will change dramatically. The state has introduced a “trigger law” prohibiting abortions from the moment of conception. It will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court ruling. While the trigger law prohibits prosecuting anyone who undergoes an abortion, earlier this year a 26-year-old Texas woman was charged with murder after an “self-induced abortion.”
Texas will also provide some exceptions to save or prevent a pregnant person’s life “significant impairment of key bodily function” that’s why more Americans in the state are weighing their reproductive health options.
From one or two requests to over a hundred
Handcock said most requests for tubal ligation ranged from people 20 to 30 years old. Before Friday, he said it was normal for the clinic to receive one to two requests per week regarding this procedure.
Tubal ligation is a common procedure that involves removing both fallopian tubes. Its benefits are nearly zero for ectopic pregnancies — when a fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus — and it may also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
The surgery consists of a small, five-millimeter laparoscopic incision, but Handcock said complex counseling is needed prior to surgery because it’s not reversible.
“The biggest risk is the risk of regret,” he told Insider.
That’s why Handcock said his clinic has numerous conversations with patients about the procedure, even asking them on the day of surgery if they’re sure they want it.
“If we have a patient who is 25 years old and wants permanent birth control, that’s all good. Let’s talk about it and let’s review your options. It’s safe, it’s ethical, it’s legal, but there’s a risk of And the younger you are, the greater the risk of regret, of course,” he said.
The procedure is covered by Medicare and Medicaid and anyone over 21 can access it.
“I think if it’s happening here, that means it’s happening everywhere else.”
In response to the influx of requests, Handcock said the practice will do its best to accommodate all requests by working longer hours and making group appointments to see as many patients as possible.
Handcock anticipates more requests and believes other clinics like his are handling numerous calls about this procedure.
“I think if it happens here, that means it happens everywhere else. Red or blue, I think people are afraid because this is a human rights issue that has been taken away. And I think people are really afraid of other human rights being eroded, whether it’s about minority rights, gay rights. I think we’re all at risk.” he told Insider.
The majority of patients Handcock usually sees who want permanent sterilization have already had children and are ready to conceive, but he expects this to change in light of the Supreme Court decision.
“I think it’s going to be a huge shift with this thunderous change in our society from Friday where we’re going to see patients who have never had children asking for permanent sterilization,” he said. “And I think that’s okay. I’m also an advocate for them.”
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