A few months after Donald Trump was elected president, then-Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards reported that intrauterine device (IUD) appointment requests at the health care provider had jumped 900 percent the day after the election alone. Because while Trump supporters greeted his election win with jubilation, a number of women worried that Trump's opposition to The Affordable Care Act would cause them to lose access to affordable contraception. But did that concern actually translate into more women seeking long-lasting reversible contraception (LARC)? Researchers say yes. A new study shows IUD and implant insertion skyrocketed after Trump's election win.
Researchers behind a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the number of women enrolled in commercial health insurance and aged 18 to 45 who had a form of long-acting reversible contraception inserted jumped by 21.6 percent in the 30 days immediately following 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," CNN has reported researchers wrote in their paper.
To examine the rate long-acting reversible contraceptives were utilized after the 2016 presidential election, CNN reported that researchers looked at women who possessed commercial insurance and were between the ages of 18 and 45. Researchers reportedly pulled data from the same 60-day periods in 2015 and 2016 from a database of commercial insurance claims and healthcare encounters. In the end, they found that, in 2015, the average daily insertion rate of long-acting reversible contraceptives changed little in the 30 days before and the 30 days after November 8.
In 2016, however, researchers say the average daily rate of insertion jumped 21.6 percent when comparing the 30 days before Nov. 8 with the 30 days following. According to CNN, researchers reported that the pre-election average daily insertion rate was 13.4 per 100,000 women while the post-election rate was 16.3 per 100,000 women.
"If our findings were projected to the approximately 33 million women in the United States aged 18 to 45 years in 2016 with employer-sponsored health insurance, this rate would correspond to approximately 700 additional insertions per day in association with the 2016 election," researchers concluded, according to CNN. In comments to The New York Times, the study's lead author, Harvard Medical School assistant professor Dr. Lydia Pace, called such an increase "impressive."
However, as The New York Times has pointed out, researchers didn't study women's motivation for obtaining a long-acting reversible contraception device, meaning they can't draw a definitive link between the increase and Trump's election.
That being said, NBC News has reported that Pace does believe her study's findings suggest women value contraception coverage such as that mandated by the Affordable Care Act and may seek out long-acting contraceptive methods out of fear they'll lose that coverage.
"The ACA's contraceptive coverage mandate is an important strategy to reduce unintended pregnancies," NBC News reported researchers said in their study. "The Trump Administration has weakened this mandate."