There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Trump and Pence’s election is likely terrifying news for women’s health.
One major reason women are worried is that Trump and Pence (not to mention a Republican-controlled congress) could threaten access to affordable birth control.
Both men have said that they will work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which requires that insurers cover birth control as a form of preventative care. As governor of Indiana, Pence slashed women’s health funding through Planned Parenthood and signed a bill that would have held some doctors who performed abortions liable for wrongful death. Trump has also called for punishments for doctors who perform abortions, and falsely suggested that women get abortions just days before birth.
The good news is that there may be an opportunity for some women to protect themselves against that threat.
As Gabriella Paiella argues in New York Magazine, and Erin Gloria Ryan does in The Daily Beast, an intrauterine device (IUD) offers some women the option to take care of their birth control needs in a way that could outlast any changes made by the Trump-Pence administration.
An IUD is a small device that sits inside a woman’s uterus and prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from reaching an egg. Some are copper, which has a strong sperm-blocking effect. Others release hormones that induce the body to block sperm on its own. Once they’re in, IUDs generally remain effective for longer than a presidential administration lasts.
Get your IUD. If you have light periods, opt for a Paragard, which can last 10-12 years. Get your birth control that will outlast Trump.
— grimalkin (@grimalkinrn) November 9, 2016
IF YOU CAN GET PREGNANT: TRY TO GET AN IUD IN THE NEXT 70 DAYS WHILE YOU ARE STILL COVERED.
— nurse lyons (@seelions) November 9, 2016
Here are the basic IUD facts:
- IUDs are remarkably effective, preventing more than 99% of pregnancies.
- That makes them vastly more effective than the pill.
- They are also safe for the vast majority of women, including teenagers.
- Some versions can remain in place for up to 12 years.
Women looking to get an IUD that’s covered by insurance should consider taking the initial steps as soon as possible. Though it’s unclear how fast Trump and Pence would work to roll back the ACA and it’s birth control provisions, an IUD can cost up to $1,000 without coverage.
Some women are already taking steps to get themselves protected.
I’ve been fucking around with getting an IUD for months. Trump won and I now have an 8:45 appointment tomorrow morning to get it.
— Hardcore Eeyore (@ThatGuyShana) November 9, 2016
It’s also important to recognise that IUDs are not an option for everyone.
i love all this IUD talk, but birth control fucks with my body too much so it’s not really an option and that’s scary
— eve peyser (@evepeyser) November 9, 2016
Planned Parenthood offers a very helpful guide for people interested in learning more about IUDs.
President Barack Obama will remain in office until Friday, January 20, 2017. It is almost certain the ACA will remain in place through that date. Afterward, Obamacare’s fate becomes far more uncertain.
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