The President-elect ran on a campaign that promised (over and over again) to repeal Obamacare and make major changes to women’s access to reproductive health choices.
What does that mean now that he has won the election?
No one is 100-percent sure, as Trump was big on one-liners, while short on detailed explanations of what his policies would look like. That said, we do know that he wants to hand insurance companies more power than they had under Affordable Care Act, as Americans will not have a government-sponsored plan to curtail costs.
At this time next year, there will be a clearer picture of what women’s reproductive healthcare looks like under the new administration. But the Obamas have not left the White House yet—there are more than two months when it will be health care business as usual. In that time, do this:
Think long-term about birth control. In a nutshell, Obamacare covers birth control and gyn visits. Younger women who have it may not remember the days of paying a lot of money for the Pill and other methods—older women remember it well. For some, paying for birth control will be a financial nuisance; for others, it could be impossible.
Two options are: 1) If you are on a method that is monthly like a pill or vaginal ring, buy in bulk. Your healthcare provider can write a prescription that you can fill at one time.
Or 2) consider an IUD. The night of the election, there was a social media storm of tweets telling women to get IUDs. The reasoning is that an IUD, a small t-shaped device inserted into the uterus, is the most effective form of reversible contraception and it can last three to seven years, depending on the type. It is also one of the cheapest options, considering how long it lasts.
In addition, stock up on Plan B emergency contraception, which is available at drugstores or with a prescription from a healthcare provider.
If you have Obamacare, get your calendar out. Before the Affordable Care Act disappears, you need to get an annual gyn exam (free), mammogram (free), birth control and make sure to follow-up with any other treatments that your doctor recommends.
Write a check—for someone else’s reproductive healthcare. Send money to an organization that is working on behalf of reproductive health. Planned Parenthood is one, and Trump has said this about it: “Millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood. I would defund it because of the abortion factor.”
Millions and millions of women are helped—not just with cancer screening, but STD testing, mammograms, gyn annual exams, pap smears, birth control and a host of other essential services. And whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, Trump’s plan to defund it will be disastrous for many women who will potentially be unable to afford the same level of care somewhere else. There are other organizations which could also use your donations—or volunteer time. For a list of organizations, start here.