A Texas urologist is reporting a 15% uptick in vasectomies, according to the Washington Post. The surprising reason, the urologist says, is the Texas Heartbeat Act, which restricts abortions to before a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected (usually around six weeks of pregnancy).
Dr. Koushik Shaw, who works at the Austin Urology Institute in Texas, reported the increase in vasectomy procedures since the law’s enactment in May 2021. Thus far, Shaw’s anecdotal claims have not been corroborated by widespread evidence. The Washington Post states that “reliable statistics on the number of men who have sought vasectomies since the Texas ban and the U.S. Supreme Court hearing aren’t available.”
Yet according to Dr. Shaw, a number of patients have explicitly cited the law as having motivated their decision. “‘Hey, I’m actually here because some of these changes that [Gov. Greg] Abbott and our legislature have passed that are really impacting our decision-making in terms of family planning,’” Dr. Shaw said, paraphrasing his patients. “So that was a new one for me as a reason — the first time, patients are citing a state law as their motivating factor,” Shaw told the Washington Post.
A false equivalency: Vasectomies are not the same as abortion
Whereas vasectomies consist of surgically ending a male’s ability to procreate, abortion involves the ending of a preborn human being’s life. The idea that the two are equivalent is baseless. Tying abortion to vasectomies – saying that because women can’t have abortions, men need to have more vasectomies – gives undue credence to the abortion industry’s false claim that abortion is a mere “reproductive health”-related surgical procedure.
Several legislators have attempted to push so-called “parody” legislation mandating vasectomies in a variety of circumstances in order to put abortion bans and mandated vasectomies on the same level. Pennsylvania state Representative Chris Rabb introduced a vasectomy mandate bill in his state, including a provision for reporting men who refuse to comply with the law and a $10,000 “reward.”
Rabb noted the amount of pushback he got from the un-serious legislative attempt. “I underestimated the vitriol this proposal brought,” said Rabb. “The notion a man would have to endure or even think about losing bodily autonomy was met with outrage, when every single day women face this and it’s somehow okay for the government to invade the uteruses of women and girls, but it should be off-limits if you propose vasectomies or limit the reproductive rights of men.”
But in fact, the outrage was not based in objections to men’s bodily autonomy, but in the insistence that a vasectomy is in any way similar to killing a child in an abortion. Abortion has nothing to do with women’s bodily autonomy, and abortion and a vasectomy cannot be compared, either on the level of biology (sperm does not grow and develop into a human on its own; gametes are not human embryos) or on a person’s rights.
Abortion as a form of birth control
Linking vasectomies to the availability of abortion on demand implies that abortion is often used as a form of birth control – a position denied by abortion activists who have long claimed abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” But the subtext of the Washington Post story is clear: abortion is just another birth control option that, being no longer available, makes it necessary for men to surgically end their ability to procreate. It is a line of thinking that lays bare the link between contraception and abortion.
As Live Action News has reported, the link between contraception and abortion has always been good for the abortion industry. “Contraception creates a market for abortion by promoting promiscuity and providing men and women a false sense of security against an unintended pregnancy,” said former Planned Parenthood manager, Ramona Treviño. “The more people use birth control and adopt a contraceptive mentality, the higher the odds that they’ll seek an abortion. Because, let’s face it, if they’re using birth control, a child is not part of the ‘plan.’ Abortion is the backup, so to speak, for contraceptive failure, misuse, or lack of self-control.”
Abortion and the role of men
The story troublingly seems to imply that, before Texas enacted abortion restrictions, men were willing to get women pregnant and simply expect women to abort their babies. Far from painting these men in a positive light as the story intends, the report reveals not only a chauvinist attitude of making the consequences of men’s actions the woman’s “problem” to deal with, but also a callous attitude toward the life of a preborn baby in the womb.
Abortion, however, is a convenient “out” to these responsibilities at the expense of the woman and preborn child. “The quality of life for millions of men will be adversely affected if this right [to abortion] is taken from women,” one filmmaker told the Washington Post after documenting the co-founder of “World Vasectomy Day.” Abortion allows men to avoid responsibilities for a child who already exists though not yet born, and leaves women to shoulder the burden – emotional, physical, and frequently financial.
Men, of course, have no more of a right to take the life of a preborn baby than anyone else does — a fact attested to in the 38 states that have specific fetal homicide laws to prosecute the murders of pregnant women as double homicides. Making this issue, as representative Rabb and others do, an argument about whether men or women have more bodily autonomy ignores the fact that abortion is the taking of a preborn human’s life, who has his or her own bodily integrity and autonomy separate from either parent.
Although the Washington Post’s story tries to show men seeking vasectomies as “allies” of women who no longer have access to abortion in Texas, what the piece actually shows is a shocking lack of integrity in men that existed long before Texas’ law, a callousness toward women and preborn babies, and a stark reminder that abortion is often used – or maybe even intended to be used – as birth control.
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