Back in 2016, fearing that the then-new ultra conservative Trump administration would restrict coverage and access to contraception, many American women expressed their desire for IUDs—intrauterine devices—and other forms of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) that would last throughout the Trump presidency. If you thought those women were kidding, you’d be wrong. New research published today, February 4th, in JAMA Internal Medicine proves that there was a significant uptick in IUD insertion procedures 30 days after Trump was elected.
During his campaign, Trump threatened to take away and/or restrict Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps sensing danger on the horizon, 16.3 per 100,000 women committed to a long-term form of birth control such as an IUD, this study found. Just a year prior in 2015, only 13.7 per 100,000 women received a LARC implant. In layman’s terms, the study shows a 21.6% increase in women who received a LARC directly after the 2016 election compared to the same period the year before.
The study looked at 3 million women in 2015 and 2016. Comparing the post-election 30 days in 2016 to the same 30 days in 2015, adjusting for trends accordingly, researchers found that after the election, there were an additional 2.1 IUD and other contraceptive implant procedures each day within the group of 3 million women.
Projecting their findings of these 3 million women onto the 33 million American women between the ages of 18 and 45 living in the U.S., the researchers estimate that an additional 700 LARCs were inserted per day in the 30 days following Trump’s election.
Of course, the researchers note that their findings are not 100% accurate and only reflect a generalization of one type of woman.
The study only analyzed women with employer-sponsored health insurance and also only focused on the 30 days prior to and post-election, meaning it’s unclear whether the increase in LARC insertions is still on the incline and if it was fully attributable to Trump’s election.
“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,” the authors stated. “Our findings also suggest that women with commercial health insurance value contraceptive coverage and that concerns about potential reductions in access or coverage may affect their contraceptive choices.”