Some women are considering getting Intrauterine Devices, commonly known as IUDs, in response to Donald Trump’s victory.
During his campaign, president-elect Trump has been vocal about his stance against the Affordable Care Act. Under the act, President Barack Obama’s mandate states insurance companies must cover birth control as a preventative medication.
“When we win on Nov. 8 and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said at a speech in Philadelphia.
Since being elected, Trump has backpedaled on certain statements he’s made about the Affordable Care Act. He endorsed popular aspects of the act, such as a provision that allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.
Even so, Trump has been a fairly unpredictable candidate and president-elect, Lauren Elliott-Dorans, a political science assistant lecturer, said, so it is difficult to predict what he will or won’t do.
Still, Trump’s initial promises of repealing the Affordable Care Act frighten some Ohio University staff and students because of the implications it could have on reproductive health.
Although Obama has put measures in place to protect the coverage of birth control, Trump can easily overturn the mandate, Elliott-Dorans said.
“I don’t see major changes happening to the Affordable Care Act for the next six months to a year, however, the birth control mandate can be removed,” Elliott-Dorans said. “It doesn’t need to be an act of Congress. Trump could simply issue an executive order saying that birth control no longer needs to be covered as a preventative medication.”
After Trump’s victory last Tuesday, some women are scrambling to figure out how to get effective birth control while it is still covered. Planned Parenthood reported a nationwide increase in the demand for long-lasting birth control since Trump was elected.
Niara Stitt, a junior studying political science pre-law, said she is considering getting an IUD after having discussions with friends and co-workers.
“People are scrambling to find doctors or to get an appointment before doctors get booked over winter break to get an IUD or long-term birth control,” she said. “The IUD can stay in for five years or however long and that would last a little after Trump is out of office.”
Trump has been relatively quiet on the topic of birth control coverage. When asked about the subject, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has worked closely with Trump, evaded the question, ultimately calling it a “nitty gritty detail.” Elliott-Dorans said that suggests birth control coverage will not be a “top priority.”
Since the future of birth control coverage is unclear, Patty Stokes, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies assistant professor, said IUDs are a viable option because they will outlast Trump’s administration.
She does not predict birth control coverage will disappear completely.
“It’s not 100 percent a foregone conclusion that people who retain insurance would lose contraception,” Stokes said. “A lot of people were OK with that part of Obamacare … because birth control is a lot cheaper than prenatal care.”
Planned Parenthood is also a topic many politicians have been discussing. Trump has vowed to defund the organization, which provides birth control and tools to assist in reproductive health.
“Not having access to Planned Parenthood is a threat to a lot of women,” Stitt said. “What if you’re raped in the next four years? What do you do? What if you have an unplanned pregnancy?”
There are ways for women to voice their opinion to government officials during the political transition, Elliott-Dorans said.
“I would just remind (women) that legislators are interested in being reelected,” she said. “If this is something you care about, I would strongly urge you to contact members of Congress.”
Originally published for The Post on November 16, 2016. To appear in print on November 17, 2016.