There Was A Huge Spike In The Use Of Long-Acting Contraceptive Devices After Trump’s Election In 2016

The Trump administration has had myriad and insidious impacts on American life since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. While our national intelligence community has concluded that Trump, constantly under scrutiny for his deferential behavior toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a Russian asset, the fearsome effect his ascendancy, punctuated by attacks against such cornerstones as women’s rights, has had on the United States cannot be underestimated.

The aftermath of Trump’s win saw a proliferation of news reports that women, concerned over the president-elects attacks against the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood, were seeking long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC), which include the IUD, where a T-shaped device is fitted inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to a decade.

A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine validates these fears with hard numbers. According to the study, 21.6 percent more women with commercial insurance were fitted with LARC in the 30 days after November 9, 2016.

The researchers analyzed data on women aged between 18 and 45 who had commercial insurance on the date of the 2016 election and the same date the year before. They then compared the number of LARC insertions among 3,449,455 women in 2015 and 3,253,703 women in 2016. After the election, rates of LARC insertions per 100,000 women rose by 21.6 percent, from 13.4 to 16.3 percent. This means there were 2.1 more LARC insertions in women per day, or, as Newsweek observes, “700 per day when the percentage is projected on the 33 million women in the U.S. of the same age.”

“I was and am quite impressed by those numbers,” said Dr. Dr. Lydia E. W. Pace, director of the Women’s Health Policy and Advocacy Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “That’s 21,000 additional IUDs or implants that we can associate with the election.”

The data doesn’t conclude how and why these decisions were made, but Dr. Pace had this to say about the data nonetheless:

“Political events do or can influence women’s contraceptive decision-making. It suggests to me that many women really valued that coverage that they do continue to have under the ACA, and I think that’s an important message for the public and for policy makers. There continue to be efforts to reduce women’s access to comprehensive contraception and reproductive health care more broadly.”

The findings appeared to confirm what many already suspected.

According to a memo leaked in October 2017, the White House intended to slash funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s family planning budget after the Trump administration “already signed a memorandum to cut funding to any organization providing, advising or educating about abortion.” The memo suggested the “rhythm method,” which requires women to track their menstrual cycles over several months, as an alternative to actual contraceptives.