Despite the fact that the Trump Administration has failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), anxieties stemming from this campaign pledge may have contributed to a significant uptick in the use of long-acting birth control options following the 2016 presidential election, according to a study conducted at Harvard University. This study, which was published earlier this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, identified a 21.6 percent month-over-month increase in the insertion rate of intrauterine devices (IUDs) and birth control implants among women ages 18 to 45 in the first 30 days after the election.
Although there may be a few factors at play here, the researchers attribute their findings in large part to concerns surrounding the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to federal health care legislation.
“Our findings could reflect a response to fears of losing contraceptive coverage because of President Trump’s opposition to the ACA, or an association of the 2016 election with reproductive intentions or LARC awareness,” says lead study author Dr. Lydia Pace.
Meanwhile, organizations such as Planned Parenthood reported a dramatic increase in the rate of inquiries they received about contraceptive options in the weeks following the 2016 election as well.
“At Planned Parenthood, there was a nearly tenfold increase in appointments for IUDs in the first week after the election,” said a spokeswoman for the nonprofit in an interview with CNBC. “We also saw an unprecedented surge in questions about access to health care and birth control … People were concerned that they might lose their coverage under a new administration.”
It seems that, in the process of attempting to limit access to free birth control options, the Trump Administration may have inadvertently triggered a sudden increase in the rate of long-acting contraceptive use among women.