Planned Parenthood has seen a 900 percent increase in demand for intrauterine devices since Donald Trump’s election, the organization reports. President Cecile Richards told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that women are “desperately concerned that they might lose their access to health care” after Inauguration Day, so they’re preparing their bodies with a contraceptive device that could outlast a Trump presidency.
A single hormonal IUD can work in a patient’s body for up to five years; a copper one can go for 12, long past Trump’s last day in office. This makes the device, already an increasingly popular choice, an attractive option for women who want a safeguard against the loss of free contraception that would come if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act. American women are currently experiencing the height of contraceptive availability and affordability in the country, and it looks like that’s about to change.
Just one day after the election, Richards was already reporting that Planned Parenthood clinics were fielding surges of calls from women wanting to schedule appointments for IUD insertions. Trump’s actions since then have given credence to worries that birth control will become more expensive and harder to obtain once he takes office. Tom Price, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, holds extreme anti-abortion beliefs that condemn certain kinds of birth control and has repeatedly tried to prevent women from accessing health care at Planned Parenthood clinics. He has a particularly buzzy bee in his bonnet about the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which he’s said is unnecessary because there’s not a single woman in the U.S. who has trouble affording birth control.
Trump himself has said he wants birth control to be available over the counter—an oft-used out for conservatives who don’t want insurance companies to have to cover contraception. And if Republicans in Congress follow through on their promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a not insignificant proportion of the hundreds of thousands of people who currently get their birth control there may be out of luck.
A pre-Trump IUD may also appeal to women as a form of symbolic protest. The country has elevated a devoted misogynist to its highest office—it’s a personal rejection of his legitimacy to take control of one’s body, exercise one’s reproductive rights, and refuse to procreate under his administration until such time as one chooses. It’s also nice to think that a few thousand of these Trump-inspired IUDs were subsidized by Planned Parenthood’s more than 82,000 donations from “Mike Pence.”