Should You Change Your Birth Control Routine When Trump Takes Office?

The day Donald Trump became our president-elect, I scheduled an appointment to get an intrauterine device.

I’m one of many. Planned Parenthood says demand for IUDs has increased 900-fold since November.

The long-term birth control method lasts four to 12 years, which would outlast a Trump presidency even if he served two terms.

Without insurance, an IUD can get ridiculously expensive: as much as $1,000. Yet they are one of the most effective forms of birth control out there, short of sterilization, because they take user error out of the equation.

(And don’t say abstinence is the solution: According to a 2007 study in Public Health Reports, 99 percent of Americans have sex before age 44.)

Maybe this is the reproductive health version of gun enthusiasts buying up firearms after Barack Obama’s election. Though we shouldn’t panic, sadly, our concerns may be valid.

Trump has vowed repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which requires most insurance providers to cover birth control without any out-of-pocket expenses. He also nominated Tom Price, who has fiercely opposed contraception access in the past, for health secretary.

And then there’s vice president-elect Mike Pence who has turned attempts to defund Planned Parenthood into a hobby.

If the new administration’s plans are successful, they could have dire consequences. With 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s work going towards preventing unintended pregnancy and accessible contraception thanks to the ACA, unplanned pregnancies, which comprise nearly half of U.S. pregnancies, are falling. And so aretake note, anti-abortion advocatesabortions.

Who knows how insurance will treat birth control from now on?

As Robin Marty, coincidentally a Care2 contributor, notes in Cosmopolitan:

If it is still included in all plans, employers probably will have an even bigger option of opting out by saying they object to it morally, since the Trump team promised more “conscience protections“ in health care when they are in power. That also means that doctors will be more protected if they don’t want to prescribe contraception, and pharmacists won’t be punished for not filling it. For people who live in small towns with only one or two pharmacies, that could be a big problem.

For Trump’s credit, he’s said he supports an over-the-counter pill, which I advocated for here on Care2.

However, as Vox notes, the change may close off access to low-income folks. Moving the Pill to the shelves without a plan to have insurance companies still cover it may drive prices up.

Or some stores just won’t bother to carry it. Just look at Plan B, a form of emergency contraception. Since going over the counter, Plan B can be hard to find, with pharmacists claiming they’re “out-of-stock” or that it is locked away.

So, should you rush to get a contraceptive implant, an IUD or even sterilization

It depends.

If you’re financially secure enough to afford birth control out of pocket, more power to you. You don’t have as much to worry about. Same goes if you happen to be LGBTQ and can avoid potentially procreative sex for the next four to eight years.

If not, are you comfortable relying on alternatives like contraceptive sponges and condoms if it comes down to it? Are your partners?

How devoted is your state to birth control access? For instance, California, Hawaii, Illinois and Vermont now allow folks to stock up on a year’s worth of contraception, rather than just a few months of refills.

What if, God forbid, you did get pregnant? What would that mean for you and your partner(s)? Are you willing and able to raise a child or put them up for adoption? Could you access and pay for an abortion, if not?

These questions can get overwhelming. And birth control methods are highly personal.

But don’t forget to breathe as Trump takes office. Even if the worst does happen, nothing will be instant.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

53 comments

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Nang Hai C
Nang Hai C6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Melania P
Melania P6 months ago

Thank you for posting; can you believe millions of women have to (probably) change their birth control methods for an idiot?? Oh my, this is getting to crazy to believe; and the US call itself civilized? Poor women, I am with them and wish them the best

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Chen B
Chen Boon Fook6 months ago

thanks

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for the info

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George L
George L6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Clare O
Clare O6 months ago

Make all men responsible for any child they father. Put the man's name on the child's birth cert even if retrospectively. Tap him for money whether he has an income or not. The child is a product of both parents and both need to be responsible.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O6 months ago

Astonishing that one person could possibly have such an effect on a population. Maybe it is time to look at how much power is invested in this post and how it could be responsibly dispersed.

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Richard A
Richard A6 months ago

I do not think that men should be mandatorily castrated but they should be responsible for their sperm... along with the owners of egg to which it may impregnate. Rape is a different story all together. Personally I am very tired of all the Viagra and Cialis commercials. Isnt there some other activity or hobby one can take up (question mark) I mean really... all the time(question marl)

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