Amid decline of abortion rights, some young women are choosing sterilization

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 12:36 PM CDT
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(CNN) - At least one doctor is saying she is seeing more women opting for sterilization in this post-Roe v. Wade world.

Kara Neils, 25 years old, opted six months ago to be sterilized.

Dani Marietti, also 25, had a picnic to celebrate her sterilization last July, complete with commemorative cookies.

Mariah Marsh had her tubes tied as a 28th birthday present to herself in January.

All three have known for a long time they didn’t want children, and after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, they got sterilized.

“I knew that the only way I could really protect myself is to go ahead and get the surgery,” Marsh said.

She, an admissions officer at Indiana University, has a neuromuscular disease that can make pregnancy risky.

Marsh said the ongoing legal battle over mifepristone makes her even more grateful she got sterilized.

The legal challenge to this drug, one of two used in medication abortion, could bar its use for abortion nationwide in the future.

“It does make me happy that I made the decision that I made because it validates my thought process, which was, they’re just going to come for any access to care that a woman can make on her own,” Marsh said.

Dr. Leah Tatum, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Austin, Texas, says she hears this frequently from patients.

“Their concerns are, what if medical abortions are no longer accessible? What if their reproductive rights are restricted even further?” Tatum said.

She said as judges have been chipping away at abortion rights, “I have definitely seen an increase in the request for sterilization,” Tatum said. “I see about three times the consults for sterilization as I used to.”

Women are securing their choice as some options for choosing a life without children are being taken away.