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Kansas abortion providers start to offer vasectomies to 'take back some control over your own body'

A security guard at Planned Parenthood Wyandotte County makes his rounds through the organization's parking lot recently.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
A security guard at Planned Parenthood Wyandotte County makes his rounds through the organization's parking lot recently.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains hosted a low-cost vasectomy clinic this week at its Kansas City, Kansas, health center to kick off the service. The U.S. has seen demand for vasectomies increase after the Supreme Court overturned abortion protections.

A regional abortion provider is rolling out vasectomy services in Kansas as part of a toolkit to keep reproductive choices secure at the family level.

The move comes after increased demand as multiple states attempt to chip away at reproductive rights.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains hosted a low-cost two-day vasectomy clinic at its Kansas City, Kansas, health center May 30-31 to kick off the service, which will continue to be offered at the center.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains president and CEO Emily Wales said the decision came after increased demand following the 2022 federal overturn of abortion protections.

“We don’t see hesitation,” Wales said. “We see folks who are really appreciative, excited. It is a pretty cool thing I think, to have patients here who are saying openly, ‘This moment is a terrible one for sexual and reproductive health care. And this is a thing I can do to help take care of my family and my loved ones. And I’m going to do it for all of us.’ ”

While Kansas is one of the few states in the region left that protects abortion — legal up to 22 weeks of gestation — the state has been flooded with out-of-state travelers needing abortion services. Kansas has six centers that provide abortions, but one has shut down services with no set deadline to reopen after staff changes.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains has added a handful of appointments to mitigate the effect of the shutdown, but the organization is already dealing with a heavy workload. The organization will be expanding access this fall, opening a center in southeast Kansas to keep up with demand.

Wales estimated the boom in demand began in 2021, when the Texas Legislature initiated a six-week abortion ban, prompting a wave of Texans traveling to Kansas for abortion care. The 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade increased need, especially after Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana banned abortion.

In-state abortion providers have also had to contend with a web of abortion restrictions passed by a Republican-dominated Legislature. While Kansas voters in August of 2022 overwhelmingly defeated a constitutional amendment meant to take away the right to terminate a pregnancy, lawmakers have continuously tried to restrict the procedure, adding more regulations to the Women’s Right to Know Act, a patchwork legislation governing the state’s abortion protocols.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains and other abortion providers in-state have ongoing litigation against several provisions in the act, most recently challenging an “abortion survey” law passed in 2024.

“We’re not strangers to having to adapt our processes, make changes, go through hurdles and hoops,” Wales said. “But in a state like Kansas, where you have a constitutional protection to access this care, we shouldn’t be going through any of those hurdles and hoops.”

To combat state restrictions, the organization launched vasectomy services last year starting with a Tulsa, Oklahoma, center and expanding through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The organization has completed 189 vasectomy procedures to date.

“Providing accessible reproductive and sexual health care is at the core of our mission to empower individuals to lead healthy, autonomous lives,” said Iman Alsaden, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

The overall rate of U.S. vasectomy procedures has increased since the end of Roe, becoming a more popular birth control option as states imposed partial or total abortion bans. The procedure is permanent, can be accomplished in one appointment and is relatively cheap compared to other methods of birth control such as IUDS. Planned Parenthood Great Plains estimates a cost of $250 to $750 for a vasectomy during the two-day clinic.

“We saw a bump in patients requesting IUD implants and I think vasectomy is kind of the same reaction where folks were caught off guard, shocked by what the Supreme Court did, shocked by the idea that the government could control such personal decisions,” Wales said. “And so vasectomy feels like a way to take back some of that control over your own body and your own future.”

This story was originally published by the Kansas Reflector.

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Rachel Mipro