Since the morning of November 9, when it was clear that Donald Trump would become the 45th president, droves of women have gone to their gynecologists seeking low-cost, long-acting reversible contraception before Trump’s inauguration ― and before the GOP dismantles the Affordable Care Act.
And women’s health care providers say they have heard from women who are frightened about what the next four years will bring for their reproductive rights.
Some got their IUDs and implants months ago, and others are still scrambling to get an appointment with mere hours to go before Trump is sworn in.
Here 10 women explain why they are part of the post-election IUD rush:
“I worry about being priced-out of birth control in the future. “ ― Anonymous, 31, Wash.
I made the IUD decision by the time Trump made his victory speech on election night. I couldn’t watch it. I was sick. I worry about being priced out of birth control in the future since I tried to get an IUD with my insurance pre-Affordable Care Act and couldn’t afford it ― and other methods make me extremely ill. Conservatives are getting more and more rabid and extreme with regard to reproductive services, and I also have this sick feeling that not only is abortion on the verge of being fully outlawed, but that these methods of birth control are at risk of being classified as abortifacients and subsequently becoming outlawed.
My physician said her office, which is a non-Planned Parenthood, fairly standard primary care practice, had seen a huge uptick in requests for IUDs since the election. I told her that I was scared about the future of healthcare and worried about being able to access birth control after Trump takes office. She agreed and admitted her colleagues share in those fears and uncertainties. My IUD was actually on backorder, so it took about a month for me to get an appointment. Overall, it was not a heartening experience.
“I knew I needed to get that IUD before the chance was taken away.” ― Cassie, 25, N.C.
I live in a progressive college town, but it is still the South. Leading up to the election, I just had this feeling of dread from the atmosphere around me. I really felt that healthcare was under attack and could very well change. Since my 26th birthday is only a few months after the election, I called my gynecologist and scheduled an appointment to get an IUD. I’m a rape survivor, and after the assault, I’ve always made sure I had some type of protection.
It doesn’t make me happy that I predicted what might happen and to be honest, the last few days I’ve been like a petulant child, plugging my ears against what’s being said about the fate of the ACA. I have grown so weary of hearing that such an important piece of legislation for millions of Americans is considered as something that “needs” to be repealed.
“Just because I don’t have an ACA plan doesn’t mean I’m not impacted by it in general.” ― Maggie, 31, Ohio
I’ve been on birth control for over a decade. Before the Affordable Care Act, I was spending $60 a month on the NuvaRing. With the ACA, it was free. I’d always thought about getting an IUD because I have no intention of ever having children, but it didn’t seem necessary. When Trump won the election, I felt panicky. It was suddenly something I needed to do.
I’m on my husband’s insurance and I spent a few days on the phone with the insurance company and his HR department trying to make sure it was approved. Every time I got on the phone with someone I said, “I have to get this before January 20th.” And they were all like, “Yes. I understand.”
Just because I don’t have an Affordable Care Act plan doesn’t mean I’m not impacted by it. I remember what it was like to pay $60 a month on birth control. I work for a non-profit, and I don’t make a ton of money. Sixty dollars a month for the rest of my fertile years is a significant amount of money to me.
“I’m worried Obamacare isn’t going to stick, and I need something that is going to protect me.” ― Becki, 31, Wash.
I recently got on Obamacare because I made the decision to go back to school full-time and I have no income right now. I’ve been on the pill since I was 17, but three weeks ago I got an IUD.
I’m worried Obamacare isn’t going to stick, and I need something that is going to protect me. It didn’t cost me anything, because I have no income at this point. In the past, care providers warned me it might be painful because I haven’t had children yet, but I’ll tell you, I actually marched into my doctor’s office and told her I needed one. After, I just felt this great sense of peace of mind. It was painful, and I did have some minor complications, but I do not regret it for a second.
“I’m on my husband’s plan, which is Grandfathered.” ― Andrea, 30, Calif.
I had never gotten an IUD before because I was under the impression they were only for women who were done having children. Then after the election I saw all the headlines saying to get an IUD now. I felt like, I’m not taking any risks under this administration so if I’m able to get one through my doctor, I’m definitely getting one.
It took a lot of back-and-forth with my insurance. I’m on my husband’s plan which is Grandfathered, so they don’t have to follow Obamacare’s rules. I told them my doctor wanted me to get an IUD, and my insurance told me they didn’t cover that. Then they gave me a bunch of different co-pays. They said $10, then $20, but when I called the specialty pharmacy department, they told me $600.
On January 1, my insurance actually stopped charging copays, so my IUD cost $0, but if I had it two weeks before it would have cost me $600. That’s crazy. The only IUD they covered was the Skyla, which only lasts three years, so I don’t know what’s going to happen in that last year under Trump. I’m not thrilled about it.
“The thing that really motivated me to get an IUD was the appointment of Jeff Sessions.” ― Kate, 28, Calif.
I graduated with my Ph.D. in December and I am planning to stay in scientific research for my career. It’s such a commitment that I don’t want to have children, though I do have incredible respect for women who do both.
The thing that really motivated me to get an IUD was the appointment of Jeff Sessions. With his positions on women’s rights, it just feels like we’re headed back in time. I truly feel like I’m personally making a decision that will really allow myself to dedicate my life to improving the country through scientific research, and controlling whether or not I have children lets me do that. So, you’re welcome, Jeff Sessions!
“After my IUD insert, my reproductive health improved dramatically.” ― Amanda, 28, Mich.
During high school, my periods became incredibly painful and heavy to the point where I was throwing up and missing school each month. Finally, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and put on Seasonique, the 91-day birth control pill. I don’t remember being talked to about options.
After college, I worked as a health care specialist at Planned Parenthood and I learned about the IUD. I paid $350 for my first Mirena. At the time, birth control was not 100-percent covered by insurance, but thankfully I was under 26 and still on my parent’s insurance plan, which included a Health Savings Account. My mom allowed me to use it to pay for my Mirena, which otherwise I would not have been able to afford. After, my reproductive health improved dramatically. My periods did not stop, but they did become lighter and shorter with barely any cramping or pain.
My Mirena was due to be replaced in March, but after the election I opted for an early replacement with another IUD so I would be guaranteed protection for the next five years. My experience working at Planned Parenthood made it clear to me that reproductive health is an extremely personal issue. There is a reason behind each and every woman’s decision to opt for her unique contraceptive method that politicians will never be able to fully understand.
“I knew that if I was ever going to be able to afford an [IUD], this was my window.” ― Katie, 22, Calif.
I have insurance through the Affordable Care Act and co-pay and IUD insertion were, fortunately, covered. I wasn’t even necessarily ready for one, but I knew that if I was ever going to be able to afford one, this was my window of opportunity.
I am really frightened, especially for women who rely heavily on the ACA for care. I am terrified of what outcomes may result due to the repeal. Women’s bodies are not identical and what may work for one woman may not work for the next. For women with strong family histories of breast cancer, like me, hormones are not always ideal. My mom’s breast cancer is fueled by estrogen and progesterone so it terrifies me to think about using a hormonal contraceptive that could possibly increase my risk in the future. Because of this, I don’t have as many options for birth control. One of the amazing benefits the ACA offers is coverage for a variety of birth control options, because it truly isn’t a one-size-fits-all matter.
“I’ve always been on the pill for heavy periods. “ ― Andrea, 43, Kan.
I’ve always been on the pill for heavy periods, not for contraception at this point (I have two children and my husband has had a vasectomy). I’d played around with the idea of getting an IUD before, but after the election, I immediately decided to get one. It cost me zero dollars, but I got an explanation of benefits from my insurance company that said it would have cost $1,700 if not for the Affordable Care Act. I feel empowered by having it. It’s such a great option, because it’s so low-key and low-maintenance and cost effective … for now.
“My health insurance doesn’t cover any form of birth control.” ― Linnea, 21, Colo.
I had thought about it getting an IUD or the Nexplanon implant, so I went to a doctor where I learned my health insurance (which I have through my father’s union) doesn’t cover any form of birth control. Not the pill, not the IUD, nothing. I was able to go to a children’s hospital in Colorado that gets grants from the government where I could get the implant ― and get tested for HIV ― all for free.
I’d actually decided on it before the election, and I had my appointment at 8 a.m. on the morning after. I just remember sitting there thinking, ‘This is incredible timing. In a couple of months, this might not be an option anymore.’ I spoke to a nurse, a nurse practitioner and a doctor and every single person made a comment about it. They were like, “You’re really lucky getting this today.”