A regional Planned Parenthood call center was flooded with calls the day after Trump was elected.
“GET AN IUD TOMORROW.”
That’s what Erin Gloria Ryan, the senior editor at The Daily Beast, posted on Twitter at 8:53 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.
Her tweet, which was retweeted more than a thousand times, was among the first calls to action for American women of reproductive age, and Seattle-area women appear to be among those listening.
The next day, the Planned Parenthood call center that handles 28 health centers, including the ones in Seattle, fielded 200 more calls than usual.
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“People started calling because of the election,” said Elaine Rose, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, the political advocacy branch of the women’s health-care organization. “Some wanted to make donations, some wanted to volunteer, some wanted to find out more about IUDs.”
Since 2012 under the Affordable Care Act, preventative health care services for women, including contraception, were required to be covered without cost-sharing by most health insurance plans.
IUDs, or intrauterine devices, and hormonal implants are the two most effective long-acting contraceptives, lasting from three to 10 years, which some women have pointed out could see them through a two-term presidential administration.
Trump has not indicated that he will end the birth-control measures, but during his campaign he promised to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which offers reproductive health care and education, including routine exams, birth control and abortions. The organization provides services to more than 4.9 million people worldwide each year. Trump has also said he would “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.
Aaron Katz, principal lecturer on health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said long-term contraception “sounds reasonable to me. I think there is lots of good reason to worry.”
“Last year, Republicans figured out a way through the budget process that would have replaced a substantial part of the Affordable Care Act provisions. Notably, it would have taken away all federal funding from Planned Parenthood. It passed both houses and was vetoed by (President Barack) Obama and I presume that will come back.”
“What happens after that is unclear,” Katz said. “We don’t know what Trump really thinks about health or women’s issues and we don’t know who he keeps counsel with, if anybody. But we do know what congressional Republicans think, and they will either get their way or there will be a battle over access to family planning and birth control.”
Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University, told Money Magazine that realistically it’s unlikely anything will happen fast, and she advises people to not focus on what Congress may do months from now.
“It’s a complex process to alter a law as complicated as the ACA,” she told the magazine. “It seems unlikely that congressional Republicans could force through a repeal of the law since Democrats have enough votes to sustain a filibuster blocking that move.” She said Congress could opt for a budget procedure that allows funding changes with simple majority votes. Yet even that process could take months, she said.
Katz said some of the future battles over health care will likely be fought on the state level and urged Washingtonians to sign up for a health plan during the current open-enrollment period. That will provide health coverage through the end of 2017, he said, which may give people a chance to see what is going to happen federally.