This week I made the decision to switch to a long-term birth control method due to the current ideologies of the government that may lead to a loss of access to affordable birth control and other reproductive rights.
When Donald Trump said in September that he didn’t think birth control needed to be prescribed via a doctor, I was relieved. I, along with many other sexually active women, breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed that at that point in time we didn’t have to worry about paying ridiculous prices for birth control or about unwanted pregnancies.
If only he was a true ally for women’s reproductive rights in all ways.
During the first week of his presidency, Trump signed an executive order to gut Obama Care—the healthcare that many women use to receive contraceptives at low or no cost. This is a real concern as 99% of sexually active women have used at least one contraceptive method.
Many women under Obamacare pay no money at all for most birth control methods such as the pill or Intrauterine Devices (IUD’s). If a woman under the ACA plan doesn’t use generic brands or it requires a co-pay, costs usually range from $5-$50 per month and an IUD about $50 total.
While not great, this pricing is still better than what women will have to pay without insurance.
The pill, depending on the brand, can cost up to $150—or up to $1800 per year—without insurance, and an IUD up to $1000.
Reproductive rights are human rights and the fact that women have to pay so much money just to do what they wish with their body is terrifying.
Trump hasn’t stated which specific parts of the ACA will be rolled back, but given the likeliness to flip-flop on the beliefs he’s stated in the past, it’s better for women to be safe than sorry. Many women are already running to their healthcare provider to look into long-term contraceptive methods just in case the president decides that insurance companies have the right to not offer full-coverage or co-pays on birth control.
If you find yourself worried about the potential out-of-pocket costs, there are options.
Ask your doctor about long-term birth control options such as:
A birth control implant
This is a rod that gets injected into your arm that remains effective for up to four years. This is a hormonal birth control option and will last at least the length of this presidency.
A device inserted into the uterus that can last up to 10 years if using a hormonal IUD, or up to 12 years if using a non-hormonal IUD.
These options are safe and as effective as birth control—with a major plus being that you don’t have to worry about it for years.
If neither of these options appeal to you, Planned Parenthood offers cheap birth control pills, usually based on monthly income. Trump has already signed an executive order that bars federal funds from going to organizations that promote abortion around the world—this includes the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
This shows that Trump is willing to push pro-life policies during his time in office, so it might not be long until your local Planned Parenthood shuts down because of a cut in funding. Get your birth control and screenings while you still can because with pro-lifers in the white house it might not be as easy in the future.
It’s not silly or an overreaction to look into these long-term options. The current government cares very little for women’s reproductive rights, so looking into an option that will be safe, effective, and affordable is important. If you choose one of these long-term methods, it will outlast this presidency and hopefully you will not have to worry about your rights being revoked in the future.
Photo Courtesy of Daiga Ellaby